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Brown vetoes bill to 'consider' race of applicants in university decisions

October 8, 2011 |  5:29 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Saturday that would have allowed the University of California and California State University systems to "consider" the race, gender and income of applicants in deciding how to provide diversity on campuses.

State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) said he wrote SB 185 to avoid its running afoul of Proposition 209, a ballot measure approved by voters in 1996 that prohibits the state from giving preferential treatment to minority groups.

Brown wrote in his veto message that he agrees with the goal of the bill, and noted that as attorney general he argued that the courts should allow the universities to consider race in admissions policies to the extent they are allowed by the state Constitution.

But, he wrote, "Our constitutional system of separation of powers requires that the courts — not the Legislature — determine the limits of Proposition 209.’’

-- Patrick McGreevy

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