From the LA Times:
Gov. Jerry Brown in Friday added his voice in support of a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California`s ban on racial affirmative action in public university admissions.
In a legal brief, Brown said that minorities face too high a barrier in efforts to overturn Proposition 209, which voters approved in 1996, because it is part of the state Constitution and not just a law or university policy. In addition, he noted a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said race could be considered in state college admissions if it did not involve quotas or carry predetermined weight in decisions.
Last week, a federal appeals court struck down Michigan`s ban on considering race and gender in college admissions, but that matter is expected to continue up the court ladder and does not affect California. A similar case seeking to overturn California`s Prop. 209 is in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the ban in 1997.
George Washington, a Detroit-based attorney arguing against the affirmative action bans in both states, said Friday that he was heartened by Brown`s opinion and that it would help the case. "It is very, very important," he said of the governor`s action.