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Open Container: Opposing Affirmative Action

by Josh Loftin
Posted // 2010-11-15 -

Utah legislators are looking, once again, at a Constitutional amendment that would prohibit any special treatment because of a person's gender, ethnicity or race. This failed last year, but supporters are confident that more conservative Republicans will push it through this year.

They may be right, and the Legislature is certainly more conservative. However, it is already going to be a rough session for the Legislature in terms of negative publicity because of almost certain blowback for immigration legislation and, potentially, gay rights debates. Yes, that criticism will generally come from the liberal camps that Utah legislators (mostly) despise, but it will still be criticism and it will be loud.

Thus, I wouldn't be surprised to see leaders pull back from other issues that garner the body, as a whole, negative publicity. This is certainly one of those issues, and considering that it wouldn't be on a ballot until 2012, legislators may declare it more "prudent" to study it for a year or pass a toothless resolution.

I've seen a similar strategy play out in past years. In 2004, when the Legislature was knee-deep in gay marriage and taking a lot of flak from those liberal camps I mentioned above, leaders did their best to quash bills targeting illegal immigrants. In 2008, when immigration was the biggest issue, leaders kept gay rights legislation locked up in rules.


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