"Affirmative action era is over, longtime foe says"
isomin at gmu.edu
Sun Nov 26 18:55:22 PST 2006
I think there may be several explanations:
1. There are significant collective action costs to organizing an initiative drive like this. Connerley has a preexisting organization that is, to some extent, portable - thus cutting down on those costs.
2. In the many states that don't have prestigious public universities, AA in higher education is not a big issue. It seems to be the higher education AA rather than the less publicly noticable AA in government contracting that drives the politics of these issues.
3. 24 states don't have lawmaking by referendum. In those states, it's quite understandable taht there hasn't been an equivalent of Prop 209 or the MCRI.
4. Most people don't give much thought to AA most of the time. In Michigan, the MCRI probably would not have happened were it not for the galvanizing effect of the Gratz/Grutter litigation. Most other states haven't had a similar high-profile event.
IN sum, a Prop 209-like movement is only likely in states that 1) have initiative processes, 2) have selective, prestigious public universities, and 3) have some galvanizing event that focuses public attention on the issue. It's not surprising, I think, that the vast majority of states don't fall into this category.
Assistant Professor of Law
George Mason University School of Law
3301 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
e-mail: isomin at gmu.edu
SSRN Page: http://ssrn.com/author=333339
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