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Friday, February 21, 2014

Heritage: States Should Take the Lead Against Affirmative Action -- By Elizabeth Harrington, The Washington Free Beacon

After Affirmative Action: “More Profound” Education ReformLegal brief suggests using ballot initiatives to end affirmative action

A new legal brief by the Heritage Foundation is urging states to take the lead against affirmative action policies the group says are inherently discriminatory.

Roger Clegg and Hans A. von Spakovsky argue that policies that place racial quotas on government hires and college admissions are discriminatory.

“Such discrimination by government is wrong: Jobs should go to the most qualified, contracts should be awarded to the lowest bidder, and the students who are most able and willing to excel academically should be admitted to taxpayer-funded universities,” the authors write.

The paper encourages states with initiative and referendum processes to seek bans on affirmative action because progress is unlikely to come via the federal government.

“The reason states should be doing this is because it’s not going to get done at the federal level,” von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Free Beacon.

“As we point out in the paper, a number of states have very successfully been able to do that, including California, a very liberal state, and yet their voters through a referendum to get rid of racial discrimination,” he said. “I think the best way to stop this is for the states to get into it, and particularly states that have referendum processes.

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