June 15, 2004 – Organizers of a petition drive to prohibit affirmative action in Michigan won a legal victory as the stateâ€™s Court of Appeals overturned an earlier ruling that had urged the state Election Board to throw out the petitions.
The proposed amendment would change provisions of the Michigan Constitution related to equal protection and discrimination. In March, Circuit Court Judge Paula Manderfield had ruled against the group, saying the petitionâ€™s wording violated state election law, which requires efforts to change the Michigan Constitution be clearly stated as such. She believed the current wording on the petitions was misleading to voters. In response to Fridayâ€™s decision by the Appeals Court, supporters of affirmative action said they would likely appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court. Spokespeople for the so-called Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, the organization circulating the petitions, said the ruling may have come too late to allow the group to get their amendment on the 2004 ballot as they had earlier planned. But they said they may aim for the 2006 polls.