Okay, Proposition 54 and some....comments. (note that I have very strong opinions about this;))
PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE I
Prohibition Against Classifying by Race by State and Other Public Entities
SECTION 1. Section 32 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:
SEC. 32. (a) The State shall not classify any individual by race, ethnicity, color, or national origin in the operation of public education, public contracting, or public employment.
This prohibition is absolute.
(b) The State shall not classify any individual by race, ethnicity, color, or national origin in the operation of any other state operations, unless the Legislature specifically determines that said classification serves a compelling state interest and approves said classification by a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature, and said classification is subsequently approved by the Governor.
So, rather than have this stuff determined by the court, which is where it has traditionally been determined, now itís not only the legislature but itís not a simple majority. Anyone familiar with this Stateís legislature can appreciate the problem.
© For purposes of this section, "classifying" by race, ethnicity, color, or national origin shall be defined as the act of separating, sorting, or organizing by race, ethnicity, color, or national origin including, but not limited to, inquiring, profiling, or collecting such data on government forms.
d) For purposes of subdivision (a), "individual" refers to current or prospective students, contractors, or employees. For purposes of subdivision (b), "individual" refers to persons subject to the state operations referred to in subdivision (b).
Well letís see now. You canít say that this is designed to prevent segregation because um, thatís already illegal. You canít say itís designed to prevent race discrimination because thatís already illegal. So what IS it for? Itís to wipe out the notion that there exists any discrimination in this state based on ethnicity, race, national origin, or color. Well news flash. Itís not true.
Hey, I donít necessarily think that the lines should be drawn on this basis (see my comments in the ďCaucasian groupĒ thread, but so long as it IS a protected class, then thatís what it is. What this law tries to do is say that for purposes of public education, public contracting, or public employment, and (with exceptions on a case by case basis if there is a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature) in the operation of any other state operations there is no protected class based on race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. The word unrealistic does not begin to cover it.
(e) The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) shall be exempt from this section with respect to DFEH-conducted classifications in place as of March 5, 2002.
yeah yeahÖ.but letís look at the real kickers shall we?
(1) Unless specifically extended by the Legislature, this exemption shall expire 10 years after the effective date of this measure.
So letís hang a sword of Damocles over the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Why again? As stated, itís not like segregation and discrimination on these bases isnít already prohibited. So why do this. Oh yeah thatís right, the DFEH is the State agency charged with enforcing anti discrimination laws in this state.
(2) Notwithstanding DFEH's exemption from this section, DFEH shall not impute a race, color, ethnicity, or national origin to any individual.
LOL! So much for the exemption. Sure theyíre exempt except that theyíre NOT exempt. Tell me, how in the hell are they supposed to investigate and prosecute claims involving race, ethnicity, national origin or color based discrimination if theyíre NOT ALLOWED TO IMPUTE THESE THINGS TO ANYBODY??????
Un f*cking believable.
(f) Otherwise lawful classification of medical research subjects and patients shall be exempt from this section.
I have to just chime in here with an agreement with kimmer
about how SLEAZY it is for Cruz Bustamente to be saying that prop 54 prevents healthcare providers from collecting data given this rather clear exemption. Gah. I donít see how I can now vote for him.
(g) Nothing in this section shall prevent law enforcement officers, while carrying out their law enforcement duties, from describing particular persons in otherwise lawful ways.
Right. So a cop can still hold to whatever prejudices they have based on ethnicity, race, color or national origin. Color blind MY ASS.
Neither the Governor, the Legislature, nor any statewide agency shall require law enforcement officers to maintain records that track individuals on the basis of said classifications, nor shall the Governor, the Legislature, or any statewide agency withhold funding to law enforcement agencies on the basis of the failure to maintain such records.
To what purpose is this? There are federal EEO tracking requirements.
(h) Otherwise lawful assignment of prisoners and undercover law enforcement officers shall be exempt from this section.
Ah so they recognize that when infiltrating a predominantly black drug cartel it might be useful to send in someone black. But no, of course weíre not using any classifications here. Weíre color blind, remember????
(i) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting action which must be taken to comply with federal law, or establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the State.
And here is another sticky one. This law is quite arguably at odds with federal EEO and other anti discrimination laws which do recognize the classifications proposed to be eliminated. The potential legal morass in court (with all its attendant costs and delays) is staggering.
OKAY the rest is fairly mundane procedural stuff.
There my initial take.
Iím sure I can think of more.
Also, consider the potential precedent.
Next weíll have a law not recognizing gender as a classification. Or perhaps disability. And letís not even talk about sexual orientation.