Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ahnuld Burns The State Constitution

The Terminator just joined the liberals and RINOs in Sacramento in defying the will of the people of the State of California by burning another portion of the state constitution. That portion is legally known as Article I, Section 31, and is commonly known as the California Civil Rights Initiative. It clearly states that "The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."

Apparently, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is still better at reading German (or Austrian, if you happen to be Barack Obama) than he is at reading plain English. Passed in 1996 by a clear majority of fifty-four percent, the measure was upheld by the California Supreme Court and upon federal appeal, unanimously upheld by the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Details, details. And petty constitutional details do not get in the way of social engineering liberal Democrats and RINOs.

The state legislature recently passed legislation which directs state agencies to award government contracts to the lowest responsible bidder, subcontracting fifteen percent of the work to minority-owned businesses and five percent to female-owned businesses. This assures that even the lowest qualified bidder will be disqualified until fifteen percent of contracts are awarded to minority businesses and five percent to businesses owned by women, regardless of the clear wording of the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI). The inmates have taken over the asylum.

On July 26, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill without comment (and without understanding, I would guess). Thus, California law is now in direct conflict with its own constitution and logically in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and 14th Amendment to the federal constitution. In a state already bogged down in multiple bureaucratic problems, facing bankruptcy and in complete disarray, the governor has chosen to make the problem worse. There will be immediate challenges to the legislation, and racial division is once again stoked as if this hadn't all been hashed out fully, completely and definitively thirteen years ago.

Former University of California Regent and conservative activist Ward Connerly was successful in getting the initiative passed, and moved on to get the same measure passed in thirteen other states so far. Of those, only California and Michigan have show consistent intentions to sidestep the provisions of the law. But this is beyond sidestepping--it's outright defiance.

My old friends at the Pacific Legal Foundation have already filed suit against the state (Ward Connerly and the American Rights Foundation are co-plaintiffs in the case). Here's what Connerly had to say: "These new quotas are a destructive and illegal attempt to pull California backward--back to a time when government routinely judged people by their skin color and sex. By enacting Proposition 209 (the CCRI), California voters clearly said that they wanted to move beyond that era of division, discrimination, and animosity. Unfortunately, the message still hasn't gotten through to many state lawmakers and, apparently, not even to the governor. The courts are going to have to instruct them that their constitutional duty is to defend equal rights and equal opportunity, not undermine them."

Liberals and big-government types love to play with constitutional provisions which leave what the state is allowed to do open to multiple interpretations. But they generally won't purposely go out of their way to ignore (or defy) a constitutional provision which clearly says what the government cannot do. And CCRI couldn't say it any more clearly: "Don't even think of performing any state action on the basis of minority status." Ahnuld and the legislature did exactly what they are forbidden in no uncertain terms to do. So far, there doesn't seem to be a single spokesman for the governor, the assembly or the state senate who is willing to make any statement of justification for their action.

There isn't even an economic justification for the action, particularly in a time of budget and monetary crisis. As Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Sharon Browne says: "The governor and the legislature also disregarded principles of sound budgeting, because projects are more expensive when they don't go the the lowest responsible bidder."

Any first year law student can tell you that the "subcontracting" ploy which avoids directly addressing the contractors themselves is a distinction without a difference. It's a non-operative legal fiction. It is a basic of constitutional law that you cannot do that which is constitutional (lowest bidder contractors)in an unconstitutional manner (the minorities subcontractor provision). Think of it this way. If for national security reasons, the Congress determines that a top-secret intercontinental ballistic missile must be entirely produced by American contractors, no agency is then allowed to write a contract with the contractor that says "but 15% of the parts being manufactured must be subcontracted out to North Korea."

I find myself asking the same question asked by La Shawn Barber at Townhall.com: "Why did these elected representatives ignore the will of the people and bring back government-mandated racial discrimination?"

17 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, Arnold truly is an ass. When people said he became a RINO, I think they vastly understated what he's become. This guy is so far left that I wonder if the Democrats aren't afraid to adopt his agenda.

I'm hoping someone is planning legal action to slap this thing down?

Writer X said...

I hope Californians are paying attention. Talk about the need for a major house-cleaning. Arnold must be auditioning for a role in the Obama administration?

LoneWolfArcher said...

When have those crazy California politicians ever let something like the constitution, or the will of the people, stand in the way of their agenda??

Joel Farnham said...

Affirmative Action strikes again.

I am totally ashamed. I voted for this guy when I lived in California. I believed in him then.

StanH said...

Arnold is a galloping RINO, in a headlong charge to the left. Politicians love government, and are most in love with the power. Being a Lame Duck, you can expect more of this from the Governator, what can you do to him? You folks in CA have a lot of work to do.

DCAlleyKat said...

Liberalism loves chaos, it is one of its fuels. A people divided are too busy engaged in conflicts to pay attention, and that creates a field ripe for the team to run with the ball!

Heads up for 2010/12, know the person you are voting for, make sure the new boss isn't the same as the old boss, and don't be fooled again....

JT said...

I like the content of your post, but you need to get some facts straight:

1. CCRI was passed in 1996, not 1986.

2.Arnold signed the Bill July 26, not October 23

3 Pacific Legal Foundation in no way is, or has ever been, affiliated with Pacific Research Institute. (That isn't to say that they don't agree on certain issues, but there is no official or un-official affiliation whatsoever.)

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I truly agree. RINO is simply inadequate to describe him. He has moved to the far left side of the Democrat aisle.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: I truly hope we can elect a Republican governor next year. The GOP candidates right now come down to three: conservative, conservative, moderate (conservative on most issues, liberal on a couple of social issues). The Democrats amount to Left and Lefter.

LawHawkSF said...

LoneWolfArcher: You know California well. But at least they usually put on some kind of pretense. They didn't even do that this time.

LawHawkSF said...

JoelFarnham: The first time I voted for Ahnuld, he seemed a somewhat conservative politician without pretenses. The second time I voted for him because he was the "least worse" candidate. But with all my years in California politics, I didn't see this radical sharp left turn coming. Nothing to be ashamed of. Embarrassed, maybe.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: There are genuine moderates in the party. RINOs are quite a different category. And Ahnuld has gone beyond even being a RINO.

DCAlleyKat: So true. The three leading Republican candidates have sufficiently long records of either public service or public involvement that there won't likely be a "stealth" candidate.

LawHawkSF said...

JT: Thanks for your input. I plead guilty to being on medication and not watching my typewriter keys as carefully as I normally do.

1. CCRI was indeed passed in 1996, not 1986 and I will make that correction. It was a typo (at least I got the "thirteen years" math right). LOL

2. Your date for his signature is also correct. I had notes all over the place, and frankly mixed up the date of a speech with the date of the signing. Error noted.

3. PLF and PRIPP do indeed share many views, and as of my last contact with both, shared many of the same associates. But nevertheless, you are absolutely correct. They are in no way organizationally afiliated with each other.

You don't by any chance happen to be affiliated with the PLF, do you? We could sure use your input.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--Details of dates and organizations aside, I am wondering if this thing is going to succeed, or will the various conservative organizations be able to void the legislation?

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: As you know, we can't guarantee anything. But the chances of overturning the "minority provision" regarding subcontractors are very good. It would take a very liberal activist court to find that subcontractors are distinguishable from contractors in the context of California constitutional law. And the California Supreme Court as currently comprised is not notoriously liberal, so my best guess is the provisions will be stricken.

CalFederalist said...

This should be an interesting battle. Who does liberal Attorney General Jerry Brown represent if this gets to court before the end of his term--the People of the State of California, or the Legislature and the Governor?

LawHawkSF said...

The Attorney General is obligated to defend the constitution first (i.e., the people in this case) and then the law. But I wouldn't bet on anything with Jerry Brown. His lame defense of Prop 8 sounds more like sabotage than defense. It's hard to say how long it might take for this to get to court, but it's likely it will not reach the state Supreme Court before the end of Brown's term.

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