Will Brown Mess With Anti-Quota Law?
DEC. 10, 2010
K. LLOYD BILLINGSLEY
A federal judge has upheld Proposition 209, the California law that bars racial, ethnic and gender preferences in state employment, education and contracting. The voter-approved measure has met legal challenges before but remains under attack.
The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the pro-racial-preference group By Any Means Necessary, and 56 California students filed a lawsuit against Proposition 209, which California voters approved in 1996. The suit charged that the measure violates the civil rights of native Americans, blacks and Latinos.
On Dec. 8, federal judge Samuel Conti dismissed the lawsuit, and his ruling noted that Proposition 209 had already been upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against similar action.
Yvette Felarca of By Any Means Necessary told reporters that BAMN will appeal and seek support from newly elected California Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown opposes Proposition 209 and as California Attorney General recently supported a San Francisco plan that gave preference to “women and minorities” in contracting.
The California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 209 in that case. Now California’s High Speed Rail Authority has come under fire for similar reasons.
The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, based in San Francisco, and the Associated Professionals and Contractors, charge that the rail project has not made sufficient effort to recruit minority contractors. The complaints ignore both Proposition 209 and the reality that California has no ethnic majority.
As the 2000 Census revealed, non-Hispanic whites are nearly 47 percent, Hispanics are 32.4 percent, Asians 10.8 percent, African-Americans 6.4 percent, American Indian and Alaska natives 0.9 percent, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders 0.3 percent, “some other race” 0.2 percent, and “two or more races” 4.7 percent.
The diversity prompted then-Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante to say, “If there is no majority, maybe there are no minorities.”
Proposition 209, also known as the California Civil Rights Initiative, does not ban “affirmative action” outright as some reports contend. State entities such as the University of California may consider a student’s economic need as a factor in admissions.
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