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Michigan: federal judge hears challenge to anti-affirmative action initiative

The Detroit News: A federal judge on Friday promised a speedy decision on whether to remove from Michigan's November ballot an initiative to ban affirmative action.

Lawyers in a lawsuit over the ballot measure, called the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, made their final arguments Friday and await a ruling from U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow.

By Any Means Necessary, a group opposing the initiative, says the question should be removed from the ballot because proponents fraudulently obtained petition signatures by telling African-Americans and others the measure was designed to protect affirmative action.

Organizers of the ballot proposal deny they engaged in fraud when they circulated a petition that is required to get a question put on the ballot. Removing the referendum issue would deny Michigan citizens the right to vote on the issue, their lawyers told Tarnow. -- Judge vows quick decision on ballot issue - 08/19/06 - The Detroit News Online

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