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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-25-97

Reaction to U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Prop 209

Washington DC -- "The 9th Circuit's decision not to reconsider the April ruling by one of it panels which upheld Proposition 209 is a tragic reversal of America's promise of equal job and educational opportunitites for women and for racial minorities. We have already seen the devastating consequences of the UC Regents' decision to suspend recruitment and outreach to racial minorities in the admissions results to University of California graduate programs. As a result, California has lost the best and the brightest minority students to out-of-state schools more welcoming to qualified minority applicants.
"For Governor Wilson to claim the court's decision is a "vindication of the the civil rights activism of the 1960s" is disingenuous, at best. The radical right -- which used stealth tactics to launch and fund the Prop 209 campaign and which has taken over the California Republican party -- is anti-women's rights and anti-civil rights.

"Prop 209's constitutional provisions prohibiting affirmative action were passed last November through a well-funded campaign of massive deception. The Proposition was worded to mimic the great Civil Rights Act of 1964, confusing voters as to its real intent and impact.

"Prop 209's backers can only get away with this deception only so long. You can be sure that as Wilson proceeds to implement Prop 209, it will become clear to all that its impact is to slam the door closed to better jobs, business opportunities and education for women and racial minorities in California, returning us to the corrupt "good-old-boys system" of favoritism.

"Whatever happens in the appeal of this latest ruling to the US Supreme Court, the battle for equal opportunities for women and racial minorities will not stop here. The radical right is not going to succeed in pushing women and minorities back. Organizing against Prop 209's successor efforts in other states and in Congress has already begun.

"We predict that as the impacts of Prop 209 become clear, the "Gender Gap" which inflicted damage on the Republicans in the last election, will become nothing short of a "Gender Gulf." Governor Wilson, Mr. Connerly, and their radical right backers should understand one thing: Women will have the last word on our opportunities and our futures."

Media Resources: Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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