CA ban on racial preferences upheld
April 3, 2012
Proposition 209, a constitutional amendment that prohibits the government from granting educational or employment preferences to individuals based on race, was surprisingly upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday. The 9th Circuit had already issued a previous opinion in the 1990s upholding the voter-approved law.
But this decision appears to make have disappointed much of the media.
“Civil rights groups and aspiring minority college students have lost the latest bid to get the University of California to resume considering race in its admissions decisions,” the Los Angeles Times wrote.
“Affirmative action proponents took a hit Monday as a federal appeals court panel upheld California’s ban on using race, ethnicity and gender in admitting students to public colleges and universities,” wrote the Sacramento Bee.
“The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding so-called Proposition 209 comes as affirmative action resurfaces as a live issue at the top of the U.S. legal system,” Reuters reported.
Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Ralph Kasarda, argued in favor of the ban and upholding the law, and described the case as “redundant and baseless.”
“The bottom line from both decisions by the 9th Circuit – today’s and the ruling 15 years ago – is that California voters have every right to prohibit government from color-coding people and playing favorites based on individuals’ sex or skin color,” Kasarda said in a statement.
The case is now headed to the United States Supreme Court, which agreed to hear an appeal by a white female student applicant who was denied undergraduate admission in 2008 to the University of Texas at Austin.
There is plenty of precedence in this case. After the City of San Francisco continued giving women and minorities an advantage in bidding for city contracts even after Prop 209 was voted into law, the Pacific Legal Foundation sued saying that the practice violated Proposition 209. In a 6-1 ruling in August 2010, the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 209 does not violate the federal constitution.
Last year, in blatant violation of Proposition 209, the California Legislature passed SB 185, to require state colleges and universities to use race in admissions policies. Despite taking an oath to uphold the state’s constitution, the bill’s constitutionality appeared irrelevant to state legislators.
American Civil Rights Institute founder Ward Connerly, co-author of Prop 209, said that SB 185 was a “priority of the legislative Latino caucus. And the Latino caucus is the 800-pound elephant in the room,” having passed several educational preference bills this year.
Connerly said that SB 185 was shoved through the Legislature quickly, even after two previous attempts to pass nearly identical bills were vetoed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Despite Schwarzenegger’s veto messages that the bills were unconstitutional, Connerly said that Democrats figured that if they could get the bill to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk quickly, he would sign it. But he didn’t – Brown vetoed the bill, knowing that it couldn’t be upheld if legally challenged.
“Signing this bill is unlikely to impact how Proposition 209 is ultimately interpreted by the courts; it will just encourage the 209 advocates to file more costly and confusing lawsuits,” Brown wrote in the veto message.
The law is so inconvenient when it doesn’t fit the liberal agenda.
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