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

April-27-09

California Attorney General Says Anti-Affirmative Action Measure Unconstitutional

California Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a letter to the California state Supreme Court that Proposition 209, an amendment to the California constitution passed in 1996 that prohibits affirmative action in public employment, education, and contracting, is unconstitutional. The so-called California Civil Rights Initiative effectively ended affirmative action policies in the state and gutted sex discrimination law.

In the letter (see PDF), Brown reasons that "to the extent that [the amendment] is interpreted more broadly to bar race- or gender-conscious programs that would be permissible under the Fourteenth Amendment, it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the federal Constitution" and therefore may be ruled unconstitutional. 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."

According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown’s letter was at the request of the California state Supreme Court, which is currently 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.

In the 2008 elections, Connerly’s campaigns also failed to gather enough signatures to qualify anti-affirmative action measures for the ballot in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The Feminist Majority Foundation played a leading role in the effort to defeat Proposition 209 in 1996 and has continued to work against anti-affirmative action ballot measures.

Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 12/2/1996, 8/22/1997, 8/25/08, 11/10/08; Edmund Brown Letter 4/22/09; Los Angeles Times 4/24/09


© 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

2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
 
2/27/2015 Houston Is Finally Testing a Backlog of Thirty-Year-Old Rape Kits - The city of Houston, Texas has finally begun testing decades-old rape kits - and in just one week, those have led to hundreds of leads. Houston is one of the first of the major cities nation-wide to clear their backlog of over 6,000 untested rape kit s- some of which were more than thirty years old. . . .
 
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .