Court nixes suit for new racial preferences in UC admissions


SACRAMENTO, CALIF. Dec. 8, 2010 — San Francisco-based Federal Judge Samuel Conti today dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 209, the voter-enacted provision of the California Constitution that prohibits preferences and discrimination by race or sex in public education, contracting and employment.

The lawsuit was filed in February, 2010, by the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (known as BAMN). It focused on the University of California system, attempting to re-introduce race-based preferences to the admissions process.

In dismissing the suit, Judge Conti sided with intervenors who entered the case to defend Proposition 209 – i.e., attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation, representing the American Civil Rights Foundation (ACRF) and Sacramento businessman and former UC Regent Ward Connerly, who led the 1996 campaign that won approval for Proposition 209 at the polls.

"This challenge to Proposition 209 was groundless, because, as the court recognized, it ignored the fact that Proposition 209’s constitutionality had already been affirmed by the Ninth Circuit," said PLF Principal Attorney Sharon L. Browne. "Far from violating constitutional principles, Proposition 209 preserves, protects, and defends the guarantee of equal protection under the law for everyone, regardless of skin color or sex."

"This ruling is a powerful victory for fundamental rights," said Ward Connerly. "Everyone is owed a full measure of equal treatment, including applicants to the UC system, and all students. None of us should be classified by race or sex, by government. More than 14 years after Proposition 209’s enactment, it is time to move forward and fully implement that vital vision and goal."

Donor-supported PLF is a watchdog organization that litigates, pro bono, for limited government, individual rights, property rights, and Equal Protection, in courts nationwide. PLF has been the leading defender of Proposition 209 in California courts.

ACRF is a public interest corporation dedicated to eradicating practices of racial discrimination and preferences by government entities nationwide, and to enforcing Proposition 209’s prohibition of race- and sex-based discrimination and preferences in the operation of public education, employment, and contracting.

The case is Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Schwarzenegger.

About Pacific Legal Foundation
Donor-supported Pacific Legal Foundation ( is the oldest and most successful legal watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, individual rights, and equal protection in courts across the country. In California, PLF has been the leading litigator to defend and enforce Proposition 209 since its enactment in 1996.

Contact:  Sharon L. Browne
               Principal Attorney
               Pacific Legal Foundation
               " title="blocked::::mailto::">
               (916) 419-7111