Affirmative action ban passed in Nebraska, trailing in Colorado

Affirmative action ban passed in Nebraska, trailing in Colorado

[JURIST] A ballot measure to prohibit governmental agencies from discriminating or granting preferences on the basis of race and sex [JURIST news archive] appeared to win approval from Nebraska voters Tuesday, while the outcome of a similar proposal in Colorado remained unclear midday Wednesday. In Nebraska, Initiated Measure 424 [PDF text] would amend the state constitution to prohibit the state and its subdivisions, including public universities, "from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, individuals or groups based upon race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in operating public employment, education or contracting," with certain exceptions. As of 1 PM EST Wednesday, the unofficial results [text] for Measure 424 (with 1,707 of 1,708 polls reporting) were:

Yes – 389,372 – 58% percent
No – 287,233 – 42% percent

Even if approved by voters, the initiative could be invalidated by a legal challenge to the petitions to place it on the ballot. The Omaha World-Herald has more.

In Colorado, a virtually identical initiative [Amendment 46 text and materials; unofficial results] to amend the state constitution was failing by a narrow margin with 86 percent of precincts reporting. The Denver Post has more.

In 2006, Michigan voters approved a similar state constitutional amendment, which in March of this year was upheld [JURIST report] by a federal district judge in a lawsuit alleging that such an affirmative action ban violated the US Constitution. In 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled in two lawsuits against the University of Michigan [materials; NPR report] that the Constitution permits public universities to consider race as a factor in admissions under certain conditions.