Federal Court to Hear Challenge to Proposition 209

The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear a lawsuit today concerning a legal challenge to Proposition 209, which bans state government institutions, including public colleges and universities, from considering race, sex or ethnicity in employment decisions of education admissions in the state of California. The lawsuit comes over 15 years after the state passed Proposition 209.

The legal challenge was filed in January 2010 by several dozen Latino and Native American students, arguing that the ban violates their civil rights and noting that since Proposition 209 was passed, the number of underrepresented minorities has decreased on public university campuses in the state. The San Francisco Gate reports that “At UC Berkeley, the current freshmen class of California residents is roughly 1 percent Native American, 3.5 percent black, 15 percent Latino, 30 percent white, and 48 percent Asian.”

In December 2010, US District Judge Samuel Conti dismissed a lawsuit challenging Proposition 209. A similar challenge was also rejected in 1997, and the California Supreme Court has ruled twice that Proposition 209 is constitutional.

San Francisco Gate 2/13/12; KGO-TV 2/13/12

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