SAN FRANCISCO - A US appeals court upheld California's ban on the use of affirmative action in university admissions on Monday, reaffirming that public schools cannot base admission on race, gender or ethnicity.
The ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upholding so-called Proposition 209 comes as affirmative action resurfaces as a live issue at the top of the US legal system.
"Today's ruling is good news for everyone who values fairness and equal opportunity, because Proposition 209 guarantees fair treatment for everyone, regardless of skin color, sex, or ethnic ancestry," Ralph W. Kasarda, who argued the case for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, said in a statement.
Proposition 209, passed by voters over 15 years ago, has prompted fierce debate for years in California. Opponents said it narrowed opportunities for women and minorities to succeed in the state. Supporters countered it simply created a system where individual ability was rewarded.