Appeals Court Upholds California’s Affirmative Action Ban

Proponents of the law say they will continue to fight for the inclusion of minority students. 

Posted: 04/03/2012 02:59 PM EDT

A federal appeals court upheld California’s affirmative action ban on the use of race, ethnicity and gender in public college and university admissions on Monday.

The ruling marks the second time the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the state’s landmark voter initiative supporting Affirmative Action, Proposition 209, which was passed in 1996.

"We think the decision is wrong," George B. Washington, a lawyer who represented the students and groups who filed the latest appeal, said. He said he would also ask for the decision to be reviewed by the appellate court. 

The plaintiffs in the California challenge argued that the number of African-American, Latino and Native American freshmen students at UCLA and UC Berkeley dropped by over 50 percent in the wake of Proposition 209.

The three-panel judge was not in agreement change was necessary. The panel wrote the previous decision still applies and a new ruling is not needed.

Affirmative action proponents say they will continue to fight. The issue will ultimately go to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to hear arguments in the case in its upcoming term in October.

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(Photo: Contra Costa Times/MCT/Landov)