Equal Opportunity Triumphs Again in Missouri

Good news, civil rights advocates: Late Friday, a Missouri circuit court judge struck down a proposed ballot initiative aimed at amending the state constitution to outlaw equal opportunity programs in the state. This ACLU victory is something to celebrate amidst the Supreme Court's recent disappointing decision in Ricci v. DeStefano.

The proposed initiative, spearheaded by Timothy Asher of the so-called Missouri Civil Rights Initiative (MoCRI), represents a second failed attempt to eliminate valuable programs that open doors for people of color and women in Missouri. In 2008, and again this year, the MoCRI has attempted to mislead voters by giving them the impression that they would be voting to uphold equal opportunity programs when they would in fact be voting to destroy them. Both times, the ACLU went to court to ensure that, should the initiative appear on the ballot, voters would know the truth about what they were voting on.

Sadly, Asher and his allies — including Ward Connerly of the American "Civil Rights" Institute — relentlessly refuse to be transparent and insist on co-opting civil rights terminology. In 2008, Connerly et al. targeted Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma for anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives, deceptively calling their campaign a "Super Tuesday for Civil Rights."

Fortunately, state after state has rejected Connerly's underhanded assault on affirmative action. Out of the five states he targeted in 2008, Connerly lost in four (all but Nebraska). In Missouri, after being exposed through litigation and on-the-ground mobilization, Asher withdrew his own petition, stating that it did not likely have enough valid signatures to make it on the ballot. In Oklahoma, the Secretary of State identified the petition submitted by the Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative as having an unprecedented number of serious irregularities, including numerous duplicate names and addresses and instances of petitioners signing their own signature sheets multiple times.

In spite of their repeated losses and public knowledge of their dishonest practices, Asher and Connerly have continued their attempts to strip away equal opportunity programs benefitting all Americans. Indeed, the fight in Missouri is far from over: on June 29, Asher filed yet another petition for the 2010 ballot. The ACLU will not allow Asher to deceive the people of Missouri or the people of any other state. Expanding opportunity is a full-time job, but its importance cannot be overstated.

To learn more about the ACLU's affirmative action efforts, visit: www.aclu.org/racialjustice/aa/index.html.

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Maggie

Sorry but I don't think the Supreme Court decision in Ricci v. DeStefano was a mistake. Even our President said: "I don't think that hiring on the basis of race ... alone is constitutionally possible."

I believe that with the economy being at 9.5% unemployment all Americans are suffering. I think that it is time for Americans to stick together and help one another with what is going on. If you are lucky enough to find a job the best person should be hired no matter who they are.

toto

Just because Ward Connerly is opposed to affirmative action he is a race traitor? The idea that the Constitution should be color-blind is anti-civil rights? Tiffany, your intolerance is obvious. So much for open-minded civil libertarians.

P.S. How can the ACLU be opposed to racial profiling and support affirmative action? The government and can take race into account in one instance but not in the other?

Busdriversteve

I believe we should judge those not by the color of their skin but by the content of their charactor

S REED

Here is a major pending case in Missouri please help send everywhere and let everyone know about it! PLEASE

Contact: Steven Reed 417-882-2942 stevenlloydreed@hotmail.com

Pro Freedom and Community/Political Activist Steven L. Reed of Springfield Missouri filed an Appellant Brief with the Federal Appeals Court concerning his arrest in 2003 for handing out “Draft Claire, (McCaskill) for Governor, (She Inspires People) flyers at a Democratic Public Event.

The Federal Appeals Court has accepted the Brief and all other Appellees must respond by the end of the month.

Please see the attached documents.

###

http://sites.google.com/site/appellantbrief/filed-in-appeals-court

roald

Maggie, the question you raise is whether the absolute best (vs. absolutely qualified) person should be chosen for a job or public policy to erase the impact of past and current discrimination satisfied.

In the case you reference, there are three reasons for the disparity between results and expectations. First, the test may not have been well-designed and administered. Second, the various groups taking the tests may, for whatever reason, have unequal abilities. Third, the individuals taking the test may not reflect the population.

As even a well-designed and administered test is not a perfect predictor of future performance, we are left with satisfying public policy and selecting able, if not the best, people.

roald

toto...Race traitor?

The Constitution is absolutely color blind and ensures equal opportunity for all. The bad assumption that Ward and others who agree with him make is that all citizens are on a level playing field. While each generation makes significant progress, we are not at the point where affirmative action laws are no longer needed.

The State can take race into account when it is working to restore Constitutional, color-blind rights to all of us. Racial profiling takes rights away from individuals because they are members of certain groups. Affirmative action tries to restore other rights to individuals.

If you believe that, while individuals have different abilities, groups are generally equal, how can you explain the disparity among groups? My theory is that individuals have unequal access to pre-natal care, nutrition, education, and career guidance simply because of poverty resulting from the groups to which they belong.

Susan

I feel very discouraged that the ACLU is tearing down memorials in honor of soldiers who spent their lives fighting for our freedom. Does the ACLU not appreciate our freedom? Do they not understand how we have it and who put their lives on the line for us? It is hurtful to see the teardown of memorials in their honor - it hits the hearts of all those who want to remember and grieve on their behalf. We love our soldiers - freedom and equality should be for ALL - including the spiritual and religious ... its their rights!

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