LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — University of California’s Board of Regents unanimously endorsed a state constitutional amendment that would allow race and gender to be considered again in college admissions.

ACA 5 would repeal Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action in 1996.

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A statement issued by the board said Proposition 209 has challenged the university’s efforts to be fair and inclusive as it seeks to attract the best and brightest students from all backgrounds.

“Proposition 209 has forced California public institutions to try to address racial inequality without factoring in race, even where allowed by federal law,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement. “The diversity of our university and higher education institutions across California should — and must — represent the rich diversity of our state.”

ACA 5 has been passed by the state Assembly, and is now in the state Senate, where it must also pass with a two-thirds margin. If approved, ACA 5 will come before voters on the Nov. 3 general election.

Critics of ACA 5 have called the proposed amendment racist and say admissions should be colorblind.

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