But supporters of repealing the affirmative action ban said it has had broader impacts that have received far less attention, including curtailing efforts to use hiring to increase diversity in police departments and school workforces.
209 was the culmination of decades of controversy over affirmative action policies in California.
Eva Paterson, a civil rights attorney and president of the nonprofit Equal Justice Society in Oakland, was a self-proclaimed “affirmative action admittee” to Berkeley Law School in 1972.
Concerned that it would limit their children’s ability to get into California’s most selective colleges, Asian American groups mobilized against the measure.
That led three Asian American state senators who had already voted for the proposal to ask legislative leaders to hold it.