The California Legislature voted to repeal a state constitutional amendment that prevents universities and employers from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment for public employment, public education, and public contracting.
Proposition 209, which passed in 1996, prohibited public employers and contractors from discriminating based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.
In early June the University of California’s Board of Regents unanimously endorsed the amendment that would allow race and gender to be considered again in college admissions.
“Proposition 209 has forced California public institutions to try to address racial inequality without factoring in race, even where allowed by federal law,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement. “The diversity of our university and higher education institutions across California should — and must — represent the rich diversity of our state.”
Last Monday, California Senate Democrats voted to repeal the amendment, which now puts the initiative on the ballot this November. The Affirmative Action Amendment will need a majority from California voters to permanently change the state constitution.
The California legislature has now voted to strike these words from our state— Steve Miller (@SteveMillerOC) June 24, 2020
“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.”
I’m speechless. pic.twitter.com/X09mWlM9sX
Opponents of ACA 5 argue that repealing the amendment will legalize racism and sexism. “Race is a forbidden classification for a good reason, because it demeans the dignity and worth of a person to be judged by ancestry instead of his or her own merit and essential qualities,” said co-founder of San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, Haibo Huang.