July 8, 2009

Arizona may be the next state to ban race and sex preferences

By Arizona may be the next state to ban race and sex preferences

Author: Joshua Thompson 

Some uplifting news came out of Arizona a couple of weeks ago, when the Arizona Senate approved a bill that will offer voters the chance to ban race- and sex-based preferences by their state and local government.  Last year supporters of the intiative turned in over 100,000 more signatures than were required, but the initiative failed to get on the ballot when the Arizona Attorney General invalidated over 130,000 signatures.  (Opponents of the initiative used numerous deplorable tactics to prevent Arizonans from being able to vote on the issue.) 

Now that the Arizona legislature has acted, Arizona voters will get their say.  Similar measures have been approved by voters in California, Washington, Michigan, and Nebraska.  With the federal government continuing to allow race- and sex-based preferences, these voter initiatives remain a great tool for people who fight for equality. 

The Arizona initiative is on my mind as PLF finalizes its amicus brief in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of the University of Michigan.  There, opponents of Michigan's ban on race- and sex-based preferences argue that the ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  I'll blog more on that topic soon, but you can read about PLF's involvement in that case here.

For now, kudos to Arizona!

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