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Monday, June 07, 2004

Racial Preferences in California

Is the California legislature trying to sidestep Proposition 209?

Assembly Bill 2387 allows "the University of California and the California State University ... to consider culture, race, gender, ethnicity" and a number of other factors in their admissions processes.

As I read it, the bill is illegal. Proposition 209, a constitutional amendment ratified by California's public in 1996, explicitly states: "The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."

But the officials in Sacramento are not dumb. Their deliberations were extensive and their methodology was efficient. It is for this reason that AB 2387 includes the phrase, "so long as no preference is given."

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