Education A State Capitals Roundup

Ban on Affirmative Action Gets Closer to Mich. Ballot

By Bess Keller — January 19, 2005 1 min read

Proponents of a constitutional amendment to end affirmative action in Michigan’s public universities have collected more than 500,000 petition signatures, far more than the 317,757 required to get the issue on the 2006 ballot.

The amendment was put forward by the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which is backed by the California businessman and University of California regent Ward Connerly, a leading opponent of using race as a factor in admissions.

The group had hoped to put the proposed amendment on the November 2004 ballot, but was slowed by a court challenge. In June, the state appeals court ruled that the proposal’s content was within legal bounds.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the University of Michigan law school could continue to consider race and sex in admissions, but that the undergraduate school’s affirmative action policy was too formulaic to be legal.

A version of this article appeared in the January 19, 2005 edition of Education Week