Victory for equality! Ninth Circuit rejects challenge to Prop 209

April 02, 2012 | By RALPH KASARDA

Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Brown, and confirmed that the California Constitution guarantees equality under the law.

In 1996, California voters adopted Proposition 209 – the California Civil Rights Initiative – which amended the California Constitution to provide that the state shall not discriminate, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race or sex.  In 1997, the Ninth Circuit rejected an equal protection challenge to Proposition 209, and held the initiative was constitutional under both a conventional and political-structure equal protection challenge.

In the recent case, students seeking racial preferences in college admissions challenged the constitutionality of Proposition 209 once again.  We intervened in the lawsuit and filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of the American Civil Rights Foundation and Ward Connerly.  The district court granted our motion and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed today, noting it has already held that Proposition 209 is constitutional in all respects.