By Carl Azuz, CNN
(CNN) – It’s not a new debate by any stretch, but a renewed effort – and court case – are putting it back in the spotlight. Some of California’s African-American and Latino students are hoping a federal appeals court will allow public universities to consider race when admitting new students.
Affirmative action in California’s public agencies has been banned for 16 years.
In Proposition 209, voters decided that race shouldn’t be a deciding factor. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Prop 209 in 1997, and the California Supreme Court has upheld it twice.
But the issue is back in front of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court for several reasons. Civil rights advocates who want the ban overturned point to a pair of cases: A 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed law schools to consider race in admissions, and a 2011 federal appeals court ruling overturned Michigan’s ban on considering race in higher education. California’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, supports the effort to overturn Prop 209; during the last legal battle, the state’s Republican governor, Pete Wilson, supported the ban.