Affirmative action proponents took a hit Monday as a federal appeals court panel upheld California's ban on using race, ethnicity and gender in admitting students to public colleges and universities.
The ruling marked the second time the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned back a challenge to the state's landmark voter initiative, Proposition 209, which was passed in 1996.
Affirmative action proponents, who had requested that the court reconsider its 1997 decision after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that affirmative action could be used in college admissions, said they would continue fighting.
"We think the decision is wrong," said Detroit attorney George B. Washington, who is representing the group of minority students and advocacy groups that filed the latest challenge in January 2010.