To counter last year’s Supreme Court ruling that allows affirmative action in school admissions, a group named the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative was formed to put the issue before the voters. Names are being gathered on a petition to amend the state constitution to prohibit discrimination. A little over 300,000 valid signatures are needed to put the proposed amendment on the November 2004 ballot and a recent poll indicates that in excess of 60 percent of the voters favor no discrimination in government hiring and school admissions.
Advocates for affirmative action have formed a group called Citizens for a United Michigan to encourage voters not to sign the petition. Recently, the Citizens for a United Michigan has been joined by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to help stop the addition of an anti-discrimination amendment on the November ballot.
The affirmative action advocacy is against having the measure put on the ballot because, in all likelihood, it would pass. Polls show that most Michigan residents are strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind. Be prepared for this issue to become significantly more prominent in the near future. National figures are sure to weigh in.