Author: Joshua Thompson
PLF filed a lawsuit today against a number of California agencies and officials including Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown. The lawsuit alleges that the recently enacted Assembly Bill 21 (AB 21), grants preferences on the basis of race and sex in public contracting. You can read PLF's petition here.
AB 21 was signed into law by the Governor on July 28, 2009. The Bill reauthorized several Public Contract Code provisions that had previously been declared unconstitutional in Monterey Mechanical v. Wilson. Furthermore, in 1998, then Governor Pete Wilson issued Executive Order W-172-98 forbidding the state from enforcing the unconstitutional preferences in the Public Contract Code. Further still, in Connerly v. State Personnel Board, the Third District Court of Appeal recognized the unconstitutionality of those statutes, and on remand to the trial court, the trial court issued a writ of mandate forbidding the state from enforcing the unconstitutional provisions of the Public Contract Code.
Despite all this authority against the constitutionality of these Public Contract Code provisions, AB 21 reauthorized them! With Ward Connerly and American Civil Rights Foundation on board, PLF is challenging this outrageous action. PLF's lawsuit is of particular note because it was filed directly in the Third District Court of Appeal, the same court that had previously recognized the unconstitutionality of these Public Contract Code provisions.
We will keep you updated as this case moves along.