PLF statement on Proposition 209 oral argument

February 13, 2012 | By JOSHUA THOMPSON

This morning, Pacific Legal Foundation Staff Attorney Ralph W. Kasarda argued at the Ninth Circuit in defense of the constitutionality of Proposition 209.  PLF attorneys represent represent intervenors, American Civil Rights Foundation and Ward Connerly, in support of Prop. 209’s constitutionality.   After the hearing, PLF Attorney Ralph W. Kasarda delivered the following statement, outside the court:

Good morning.

I am Ralph Kasarda, an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation.

Pacific Legal Foundation is a watchdog for individual rights and equal protection under the law, and we are proud today to defend Proposition 209 before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

By enacting Proposition 209, the people of California were expressing the highest aspirations for equal rights and equal opportunities for everyone.

Proposition 209 guarantees everyone’s  right to be treated fairly, and not to be discriminated against based on skin color or gender.

In fact, the Ninth Circuit itself upheld Proposition 209’s constitutionality in a ruling 15 years ago.  Therefore, the current challenge to proposition 209—which tries to revive old, discredited arguments—is redundant and baseless.

The Ninth Circuit has already recognized that the people of California have the right to enshrine a firm commitment to equal rights and equal opportunities in our state constitution.   Instead of trying to chip away at Proposition 209, we should be celebrating, and implementing, its teaching that no one should be disadvantaged because of skin color or sex.

We all deserve equal respect and dignity under the law—fair and equal treatment by government officials, including in our public schools and universities.

The people of California had a clear constitutional right to uphold equality and fairness, by enacting proposition 209.

Thank you.