Court upholds Proposition 209, prohibiting affirmative action in California public university admissions

By Naheed Rajwani

California’s ban on affirmative action will remain intact after a federal appeals court ruled Monday that Proposition 209, which prohibits the state’s public universities from using race or gender as a factor in college admissions, is constitutional.

The original suit was filed by 46 U. California minority applicants and an advocacy group against the UC Board of Regents and the state of California in January 2010. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments regarding the lawsuit in February, and released its official opinion Monday, siding with the lower court.

Proponents of affirmative action argued that the ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, causing African American, Latino and Native American students to be excluded from higher education.

The court, however, concluded that these arguments were similar to those made in a a previous court case in 1997, which also upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 209.

“The bottom line is that (the 1997 ruling) remains the law of the circuit, and the district court faithfully applied it,” according to the circuit court’s official opinion.

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