Hearing this week in Connerly v. Schwarzenegger
Author: Joshua Thompson
On Friday, July 2, I will be in the Sacramento Superior Court arguing the case of Connerly v. Schwarzenegger. Pacific Legal Foundation is representing Ward Connerly and the American Civil Rights Foundation in their challenge regarding the constitutionality of various public contracting statutes. This case arose after the legislature passed, and the governor signed, Assembly Bill X4 21, which reauthorized statutes that had been declared unconstitutional a mere eight years ago.
In an unexpected twist, the government agrees that the statutes are unconstitutional. Nevertheless, the government argues that the court should decline to issue a writ of mandate prohibiting the statutes' enforcement, because they aren't being currently enforced. I suppose this new tactic is somewhat refreshing, in that the California government no longer tries to enforce unconstitutional statutes (if their allegations are true), nevertheless, the legislature and governor cannot spend their time enacting unconstitutional statutes. While we believe the Court should issue the writ to ensure that the government continues to follow Proposition 209 (and we will be arguing so on Friday), it is good to know that the government agrees that it cannot engage in the blatant racial discrimination required by the statutes. I will let you know how the hearing goes on Friday.
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