State Ballot Initiatives to Watch

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Students demonstrate outside the Federal Courthouse in Cincinnati in March 2012. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was hearing oral arguments in their review of their ruling last summer that Proposal 2, the ban on affirmative action in Michigan, is unconstitutional. A similar ban is on the ballot this November in Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Affirmative Action

Oklahoma State Question 759 would add a section to the state constitution that effectively bans affirmative action. The proposition makes a few exceptions, such as “[w]hen gender is a bonafide qualification.” The Oklahoma initiative is supported by the state’s Republicans, who say affirmative action has served it’s purpose. The state’s Democrats disagree. “This is not a perfect world. In a perfect world we wouldn’t need affirmative action,” said Wallace Collins, the chair of the Oklahoma State Democratic Party.

The Supreme Court also recently heard arguments on whether affirmative action is constitutional, an issue the court last decided in 2003. A decision on the Supreme Court case is expected in the spring.

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