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NEWS
June 13, 1995 | MELISSA HEALY and PAUL RICHTER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Republican critics of affirmative action hailed Monday's Supreme Court decision as a mandate for even more sweeping action by Congress and vowed to press home their attack on federal programs of racial preference.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | Robin Abcarian
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent from the high court's 6-2 decision Tuesday to uphold Michigan's voter-approved ban on affirmative action for public universities has been variously described as “ blistering ," “ scathing ,” and " outraged . " It is passionate, for sure, but it is actually logical and scholarly, and well worth curling up with. She laments that the court's role as a bulwark against suppression of the minority has crumbled, and that her colleagues have allowed Michigan voters “to do what our Constitution forbids.” (Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in his majority opinion, noted that race considerations in college admissions are permissible.
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OPINION
August 25, 2012
Responding to The Times' Aug. 16 editorial " Affirming affirmative action ," reader E.G. Rice wrote: "The 14th Amendment requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all citizens. The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed most forms of discrimination. Affirmative action subjects applicants to different standards based on their race or gender, which makes it unconstitutional. "In the 2003 ruling that upheld affirmative action, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor suggested that the policy should end within 25 years.
NATIONAL
April 22, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court upheld Michigan's ban on the use of racial affirmative action in its state universities Tuesday, ruling that voters are entitled to decide the issue. The 6-2 decision clears away constitutional challenges to the state bans on affirmative action, which began in California in 1996. Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said the democratic process can decide such issues. “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,” he said.
OPINION
August 19, 2012
Re "Affirming affirmative action," Editorial, Aug. 16 Affirmative action was right for the fire departments and military academies that had historically excluded qualified applicants because of their race. Race-based affirmative action policies in the pursuit of diversity and multiculturalism, however, have no place in university admissions. These policies discriminate against white applicants by granting a wholesale preference to all members of a minority group. A university should be a meritocracy, not a demographic mirror of society.
OPINION
September 4, 2013
Re "Race returns to high court," Aug. 31 California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a Michigan law that clearly buttresses the Constitution's equal protection clause (by barring racial preferences, which by design result in unequal protection) on the grounds that it violates that clause. It's as if she's asking the justices to rule that two plus two equals five. Such is the length to which affirmative action proponents must go in their desperate attempts to deny the plain fact that granting racial preferences is not merely an injustice but a clear, unambiguous violation of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Constitution's 14th Amendment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
An effort to overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public universities stalled in the Legislature on Monday. The proposed constitutional amendment by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would have removed references to higher education from Proposition 209, an initiative passed by voters in 1996 that bans consideration by government institutions  of race, ethnicity and sex in hiring, school admissions and contracting. The amendment, SCA 5, passed the Senate in January on a party-line vote.
NEWS
July 3, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Supporters of affirmative action breathed a nervous sigh of relief last week when the Supreme Court essentially punted on a case that some had feared would have led to a gutting of racial preferences in admissions to state universities. But even if the court had declared such preferences unconstitutional, it doesn't follow that enrollment of minorities in higher education would have plummeted. Most colleges aren't highly selective. The political and legal debate about racial preferences is basically about a small sliver of highly competitive institutions.
OPINION
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
"Supreme Court rules against affirmative action. " That is likely to be a common shorthand description of Tuesday's decision upholding the constitutionality of Michigan's ban on the use of racial preferences in admission to state universities. But it's misleading. The 6-2 decision leaves undisturbed previous rulings in which the justices said that state universities may take race into account in admissions policies without violating the U.S. Constitution. But the court now has made it clear that although such preferences are permissible, voters may opt to prohibit them.
NEWS
April 22, 2014 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
The Supreme Court upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action on Tuesday. The 6-2 decision, as The Times' David Savage explains, “clears away constitutional challenges to the state bans on affirmative action, which began in California in 1996.” From Savage's article : “Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said the democratic process can decide such issues. 'This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,' he said. 'It is about who may resolve it. There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this court's precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.'” This is what The Times editorial board argued in October when it opined on the case: “This case isn't about whether state universities may provide preferential treatment in their admissions policies.
OPINION
April 15, 2014 | By Lanhee J. Chen
The recent defeat of an effort to reinstitute affirmative action in admissions to California's public colleges and universities demonstrates the political power of Asian American voters and challenges the conventional wisdom about their partisan loyalties. The defeat is a reminder that Asian Americans can have a decisive impact on political and policymaking processes. Perhaps more important, it suggests that if education is a key issue that drives Asian American voters, the Democratic Party may not be able to reliably count on their support in the future.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2014 | By Jean Merl, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
The controversy over a stalled effort to overturn a state ban on affirmative action spilled into a hot race for Congress this week when six Democratic state legislators rescinded their endorsements of state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). In a March 25 letter mailed to Lieu's congressional campaign office, the legislators asked their colleague to "remove our names from your list of endorsements for Congress. " As of Wednesday evening, the names no longer were listed under the endorsement page on Lieu's campaign website . The letter was signed by Lieu state Senate colleagues Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens, Norma Torres of Pomona and Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles and by Assembly members Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, Anthony Rendon of Lakewood and Jose Medina of Riverside.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - When the state Senate took up the issue of affirmative action in late January, it was a relatively tepid affair. After 20 minutes of polite debate, senators passed a measure that, if approved by voters, would overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public higher education. But within weeks, the debate turned fractious. Backlash arose among some Asian Americans who feared their children could lose access to the state's universities if more places were granted to students from other minority groups.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - The Democrats' loss of a legislative supermajority stifled their push to change California's campaign finance and affirmative action laws Monday, potentially foreshadowing a return to partisan battles over their other priorities, such as property taxes, water policy and a rainy-day fund. Monday's losses come less than two years after Democrats won a historic two-thirds control over both the state Senate and Assembly, eliminating the need for a single Republican vote on any bill.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
An effort to overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public universities stalled in the Legislature on Monday. The proposed constitutional amendment by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would have removed references to higher education from Proposition 209, an initiative passed by voters in 1996 that bans consideration by government institutions  of race, ethnicity and sex in hiring, school admissions and contracting. The amendment, SCA 5, passed the Senate in January on a party-line vote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) portrayed Monday the shelving of his amendment to overturn the state's ban on affirmative action in higher education as an attempt to defuse the increasingly heated backlash the proposal has generated in recent weeks. "Given the scare tactics and misinformation used by certain groups opposed to SCA 5, we felt it was necessary to have a discussion based on facts and take the time to hear from experts on the challenges our public universities and colleges face with regards to diversity, as well as the implications for California's workforce and our overall competitiveness in a global economy," Hernandez told reporters at the Capitol.
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