Asian-American leaders succeeded Monday in stopping an effort in the California legislature to overturn Proposition 209, which banned the use of race in admissions at state universities after its passage in 1996.
Meanwhile, Latinos were set to become the state’s largest ethnic group by the end of March, at 39 percent of the state. Whites form just under 39 percent, Asian-Americans roughly 14 percent, and blacks under 7 percent.
The bill to overturn Proposition 209, referred to as Senate Constitutional Amendment 5, passed the state Senate in January. However, public protest, led by Asian-Americans, resulted in the bill’s sponsor dropping the legislation Monday.
Democrats could have used their supermajority to overturn Prop. 209 on their own, but are keen not to lose Asian-American votes, which have only recently trended towards Democrats.
Ron Nehring, the former chair of the state’s Republican Party, claimed some credit for the GOP.
“SCA-5 is dead for now, thanks to the outstanding efforts of thousands of Californians, especially in our Asian-American communities, against re-introducing racial discrimination at our colleges and universities.
“Their efforts backed up Republican legislators who stood for fairness, resulting in the bill being pulled,” he said in a statement.
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