The Supreme Court heard argument today in yet another university affirmative action dispute. Few issues have generated more Supreme Court litigation than the question of when government is permitted to classify its citizens by race. This has also been an issue in the political sphere as well, with major popular initiatives in California, Michigan, and Washington. California was in the lead with Proposition 209 in 1996, but the issue is still alive in that state. Recently, the State Legislature considered putting a measure on the ballot to exempt public schools, colleges, and universities from the ground-breaking civil rights initiative. A new Engage article documents the political forces that coalesced to defeat the Legislature’s plan. Instead of experienced political partisans, the effort to stop the legislative proposition was a grassroots effort by a community that has not been politically active in the past. 

Read the article here.