Initiatives Which Would Ban Affirmative Action in Higher Education Likely to Appear on Ballots in Four States in 2008

Opponents of affirmative action in higher education are targeting the states of Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma for ballot initiatives in 2008.

The so-called Colorado Civil Rights Initiative reads simply, “The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

Leading the effort in Colorado is Valery Pech Orr, who was a co-plaintiff in the 1995 Adarand case in which the Supreme Court significantly curtailed minority set-aside programs in government contracting awards.

Ward Connerly, who successfully led the fight to enact affirmative action bans in California, Washington, and Michigan, is heading up similar efforts in Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma in 2008. Connerly may add other states as well in an effort to create what he calls a “Super Tuesday for Equal Rights” in November 2008.