2020 Election, News

Proposition 16 fails, affirmative action ban to remain in place

Voters rejected a measure Tuesday to repeal Proposition 209’s Affirmative Action Amendment, 56.1% to 43.9%.

Proposition 16 would have repealed Proposition 209 introduced in 1996, which stated that the government and public institutions cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to indivduals on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public employment, public education and public contracting.

With the removal of Proposition 209, state government, local governments, public universities and other political subdivisions will be allowed to develop and use affirmative action programs that grant preferences based on race, sex, color, ethnicity and national origin in public employment, public education and public contracting.

On Nov. 5, 1996, Proposition 209 received 54.55% of the vote, making California the first state to adopt a constitutional ban on race-based and sex-based affirmative action.

Proposition 16 would remove the ban on affirmative action from the California Constitution, causing federal case law to define the parameters of affirmative action.

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