Affirmative Action Initiative Headed to Court

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The federal court fight over the anti-affirmative action proposal scheduled for Michigan's November ballot is scheduled to begin Thursday.

A hearing is scheduled in the case before U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow in Detroit.

State courts have ruled the proposal, which would ban race and gender preferences in government hiring and university admissions, should be on the November ballot. But opponents, including Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and an affiliate of the pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary, are trying to prevent the issue from going to voters by suing in federal court.

Critics claim the proposal's sponsor, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, tricked blacks and others into signing the petitions that allowed the proposal to get on the ballot. Opponents say MCRI misled thousands of voters by misrepresenting the initiative's intent.

MCRI denies the fraud allegations.

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