Utah Legislature Looks to Ban Affirmative Action in University Admissions

The GOP-controlled legislature in the state of Utah is considering a proposal to amend the state constitution to ban the consideration of race by any agency of the state government in hiring, promotions, contracting, or university admissions. To place the issue before voters in a referendum, both houses of the state legislature must pass the measure by a two-thirds majority. The GOP holds overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate.

Blacks are only 1 percent of the total enrollments at the University of Utah and Utah State University. But past studies have indicated that blacks and other minorities were admitted to the medical school at the University of Utah at a rate that was more than twice as high as the rate for white men.