NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Racial Preference Issue Moving To The Fore

January 25, 1999

Political observers say that affirmative action and racial preference issues may be a hot topic in the 2000 political campaigns. Plans are already underway in certain states to outlaw preferences.

  • Ward Connerly, who led initiatives in California and Washington state to dump preferences, is said to be targeting Michigan for his next big campaign.
  • Connerly says that he has also been contacted by people in Colorado, Florida, Nebraska and Oregon about possible initiatives in those states.
  • But he says financial considerations dictate that "we concentrate our resources in one or two states, rather than diluting them."
  • With a number of Republican presidential hopefuls giving high visibility to their opposition to race-conscious remedies and Vice President Al Gore favoring them, the debate is already heating up.

Class action suits were filed late in 1997 against the undergraduate college of the University of Michigan and its law school on behalf of white applicants who claim they are the victims of reverse race discrimination. Preliminary motions have been disposed of and the cases are set for argument this summer.

Source: David S. Broder, "A New Front in Ballot Battle," Washington Post, January 23, 1999.


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