A federal appeals court upheld California's statewide ban on using affirmative action in admissions decisions at public universities yesterday. Proposition 209, approved by California voters in 1996, bans public colleges and universities from considering gender, ethnicity, or race in the admissions process. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the ban once before. The court wrote in its decision that it had already established precedent in this earlier case.
Ralph Kasarda, an attorney who argued in favor of Proposition 209, said in a statement, "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." A plaintiff in the lawsuit, UC Berkeley student Maria Belman, argued that affirmative action is necessary, telling reporters from the Associated Press that "there's racism in our society. You need something to make up for that."
This October, the US Supreme Court will hear a case, Fisher v. University of Texas, involving affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin. The case, brought by Abigail Fisher, a Caucasian student claiming to have been denied admissions on account of her race, could "eliminate diversity as a rationale sufficient to justify any use of race in admission decisions," according to the New York Times.
Media Resources: Reuters 4/3/12; AP 4/3/12; Los Angeles Times 4/3/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/21/12
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .