California's highest court has upheld the state's 14-year-old law barring preferential treatment of women and minorities in public school admissions, government hiring and contracting.
In a 6-1 ruling, the state Supreme Court rejected arguments from the city of San Francisco and Attorney General Jerry Brown that the law, known as Proposition 209, violates federal equality protections. Opponents of the ban say it creates barriers for minorities and women that don't exist for other groups, such as veterans seeking preference.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made a similar ruling in 1997.
The ruling was in response to lawsuits filed by white contractors challenging San Francisco's affirmative action program, which was suspended in 2003.
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