Henderson Allowed to Continue to Hear Prop 209 Suit
A federal judge in San Francisco ruled on January 14 that Judge Thelton Henderson can continue to hear the lawsuit against Proposition 209, the anti-affirmative action measure in California. Responding to objections that Henderson’s past membership of the American Civil Liberties Union would taint his ruling of the measure, U.S. District Judge Fern Smith said that Henderson’s “past membership in an organization which supports affirmative action does not render him unable to preside fairly over any case involving the question of affirmative action.” The group objecting to Henderson presiding over the case may appeal Smith’s decision.
Henderson issued a preliminary injunction blocking Prop 209 on December 23, putting the ruling on hold until a trial determines its constitutionality. Opponents of the measure have argued that Prop 209 violates the Constitution by keeping women and people of color from programs that would rectify discrimination while not keeping such opportunities from veterans and other groups.
Media Resources: The San Francisco Chronicle - January 15, 1997