Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-22-10

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against CA Anti-Affirmative Action Measure

A class action lawsuit was filed last week alleges that the civil rights of Black, Latina/o, and Native American applicants to California schools are violated due to an amendment, Proposition 209, to the state constitution. The Proposition 209 amendment to the California constitution passed in 1996 and prohibits affirmative action in public employment, education, and contracting. The so-called California Civil Rights Initiative effectively ended affirmative action policies in the state and gutted sex discrimination law.

The suit, which claims that Proposition 209 is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution was filed by Michigan-based group By Any Means Necessary. Lead counsel Shanta Driver told the Associated Press, "Thirteen years of a ban on affirmative action in the state of California has left, in particular UCLA and Berkeley, with just pitiably low numbers of black and Latino students...You can't have a white majority create a situation in which the only people who are barred from going to their regents and saying, 'Adjust the admissions system so more of our sons and daughters can get in' are black, Latino and Native American."

California Attorney General Jerry Brown wrote a letter (see PDF) to the California state Supreme Court last year arguing that the amendment is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection Clause. The letter also states that "ironically, by effectively disadvantaging racial minorities and women in the political process, without an evident compelling governmental reason for doing so, [the amendment] seems to accomplish the very evil it purported to eliminate...racial and gender discrimination." Brown wrote the letter at the request of the California state Supreme Court, which was then considering a challenge to a law that gives an advantage to women and minority-owned businesses in bidding for contracts in San Francisco.

Ward Connerly, a California businessman, used the passage of Proposition 209 to build his nationwide campaign against affirmative action. Connerly's efforts have led to affirmative action bans not only in California, but also in Michigan, Washington, and Nebraska. A similar affirmative action ban supported by Connerly was defeated in Colorado in 2008. Also in 2008, Connerly's anti-affirmative action campaigns in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arizona failed to gather enough signatures for measures to qualify for the ballot. Connerly testified earlier this month in support of a bill in the Utah state Senate that would ban affirmative action in the state.

Media Resources: Associated Press 2/17/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/27/09, 2/17/10


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/2/2015 President Obama Will Expand Overtime Pay to Millions of Americans - President Obama is proposing a plan this week to broaden overtime pay that is expected to affect millions of Americans in the working class, especially women. In an Op-Ed written for and published by the Huffington Post, President Obama summarized what he called a successful week for Americans. . . .
 
7/2/2015 National Portrait Gallery Honors Dolores Huerta - Feminist Majority Foundation board member and lifelong feminist activist Dolores Huerta was honored by the National Portrait Gallery last night as the first Latina person to have a featured exhibition at the museum. Huerta is an active defender of civil rights, farm workers' rights, women's rights, and immigrant rights, and has been for over five decades. . . .
 
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally. Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .