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New legal cases and initiatives confirm renewed popular opposition to race as an organizing principle in American society.
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To this end, it has repeatedly filed suit in an effort to overturn the initiatives. Last year, on July 1, two Clinton appointees, who formed a majority on a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, embraced BAMN’s tortured legal reasoning. Judges R. Guy Cole Jr. and Martha Craig Daughtrey ruled that the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), widely known as Proposal 2, is unconstitutional because it alters the state’s political structure in a manner that unduly burdens racial minorities. The case could conceivably go back to the U.S. Supreme Court if the ruling in Michigan stands and remains in conflict with court decisions that uphold Proposition 209 in California.
“When it comes to race, nothing is unbelievable and nothing is surprising,” said Connerly, who now heads up the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) based on Sacramento. “This is the kind of decision that reaffirms the idea that some groups will work to preserve preferences ‘by any means necessary.’ I know they [BAMN attorneys] believe they have hit pay dirt here. But I have spoken with very good constitutional scholars and I am absolutely convinced that this case will be overturned before the full sixth circuit. If by some chance this case does go to the U.S. Supreme Court, I expect that we’ll get the ruling we have long desired on the issue of preferences and they will bite the dust once and for all.”
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has successfully petitioned the Sixth Circuit to rehear the case en banc (in full). He issued his first brief in defense of MCRI earlier this month. The civil rights law remains in full force pending a final court ruling, which is expected within the next few months.
While BAMN and other hostile litigants continue to invoke Grutter as a rationale for the continuation of race and gender preferences, they persistently misconstrue the larger point behind the ruling, Jennifer Gratz, the executive director of the MCRI, explained.
“While it’s clear that O’Connor favored a holistic approach that included race, she also said it was acceptable for voters in states to make preferences unconstitutional,” observes Gratz, who was also the plaintiff in the other Supreme Court case that struck down quotas at the University of Michigan. “She [O’Connor] certainly did not mandate the use of preferences and made it clear that over the next 25 years [from the time of that decision] race should ultimately cease to be a factor.”
O’Connor specifically cited state laws in California, Washington State, and Florida (that were in effect at the time of her ruling) banning race and gender preferences as examples of what other states should be emulating. Since then, Arizona and Nebraska have also passed constitutional amendments banning preferential policies.
While Connerly continues to encourage grassroots activists who are ambitious to pass new initiatives in their home states, he cautions them against placing too much faith in either major political party. Despite embracing post-racial sentiments during his 2008 election effort, President Obama has inserted race and gender preferences into the Dodd-Frank finance bill, the health care bill, and the stimulus package, which are highlighted in a report from ACRI.
In Michigan, former President Gerald Ford joined with other Republicans running for state-wide office in 2006 to oppose the initiative banning preferences. Those Republicans lost; the initiative passed with broad support across party lines.
There’s a lesson in that.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?