Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Judge Rules against Petition Drive Aimed at Ending Affirmative Action

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Judge Rules against Petition Drive Aimed at Ending Affirmative Action

Article excerpt

LANSING, MICH.

A state board should not have approved a petition circulated by a group trying to end affirmative action at Michigan public universities and other public agencies, a judge ruled.

The decision, handed down in late March by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula Manderfield, could at least slow down the effort aimed at letting voters decide the issue in November. The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative must get the signatures of at least 317,517 registered voters by July 6. Manderfield ordered the board of state canvassers to rescind its approval of the petition. The ballot proposal seeks to ban public schools and agencies from granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.

The petition, the judge said, does not reflect that it would "alter or abrogate" existing provisions of the Michigan Constitution as it should have.

"To find otherwise would reduce the function of the state board of canvassers to a mere rubber stamp," Manderfield wrote. …

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