Proposition 209 On Hold -- Affirmative Action Continues in California
Implementation of Proposition 209, the amendment to the California constitution that prohibits affirmative action in public employment, education, and contracting, has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge. Chief U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson issued a temporary restraining order in response to a lawsuit against Proposition 209 brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
Judge Henderson, a former Justice Department civil rights prosecutor, has said there is a "strong probability" that Prop 209 will be proven unconstitutional at a trial and be struck down permanently. The temporary restraining order blocks the state of California from implementing the new amendment at least until a scheduled hearing on December 16, at which point Judge Henderson could issue a permanent injunction to prevent implementation of Prop 209 until a trial is held.
The ACLU lawsuit argues that Proposition 209 is unconstitutional because it singles out women and minorities as groups that cannot benefit from affirmative action to remedy past discrimination. Other groups such as the disabled and veterans are not affected by Proposition 209.
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "not only prohibits the outright exclusion of women and minorities from the political process, but also prohibits more subtle distortions of the political process that place special burdens on the ability of women and minorities to achieve beneficial legislation," wrote Judge Henderson in his temporary restraining order.
Media Resources: The Washington Post -- November 28, 1996; The New York Times -- December 1, 1996; Judge Henderson's Temporary Restraining Order -- November 27, 1996
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .