Apr. 14, 2004 –
"The Judge recognized that the so-called Michigan Civil Rights Initiative was deliberately lying to the citizens. The MCRI cannot repeal Michiganâ€™s civil rights laws without telling the voters of their intent," said George B. Washington, the attorney for the groups fighting the ballot initiative in court, reports Pridesource.com, a Michigan-based news website.
While groups opposing the amendment say the ruling and the Boardâ€™s subsequent decision mean the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative will have to start their petition drive over with new petitions, a spokesperson for the MCRI said they will continue to collect signatures on the same petition. Tim Oâ€™Brian, the manager of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, told the Lansing Bureau, "We did not need the approval of the Board of State Canvassers to begin with. This court ruling is ridiculous. I am absolutely confident it will be turned over on appeal.''
Washington, however, is confident the courtâ€™s ruling will stick. "If they go ahead with the same words, they're no more legal in July than they are in March,'' he told Lansing Bureau.
Last month, civil rights activists in Colorado won another victory for affirmative action when a close vote in the Colorado State Senate defeated an anti-affirmative action bill, entitled the "Colorado Civil Rights Act," another controversial title.
In June 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it was constitutional for the University of Michigan Law School to consider the race of applicants in order to create a diverse student population.