SACRAMENTO - The deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to file his brief in the Ninth Circuit in the case challenging Proposition 209’s ban on affirmative action at the University of California is Friday. In 2009, as Attorney General, Governor Brown told the California Supreme Court that Proposition 209 violated the Fourteenth Amendment.
Shanta Driver, the National Chair of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), the organization sponsoring the pending challenge to Proposition 209, said “If Governor Brown, as Governor of the largest State in the Union, reasserts his previous declaration that Proposition 209 is unconstitutional, his brief, coupled with the recent decision in Michigan, will strike a potentially decisive blow against Ward Connerly’s efforts to end affirmative action in this country. It will bring nearer the day when the doors of California’s and the nation’s best colleges and universities are again open to the tens of thousands of talented Latina/o, black and Native American students who have been excluded by ballot measures like Proposition 209.”
Latina/o and black students and applicants to the UC will be at a press conference Friday at 4PM along with George Washington, the Michigan attorney who is lead counsel in the Michigan and California challenges to the anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives.
Washington said: “Proposition 209 is the latest improvisation of the New Jim Crow - today’s version of ‘separate and unequal’. It allows the Regents to consider special admissions programs to remedy every form of discrimination and exclusion except the greatest exclusion of all—that of Latina/o, black and Native American applicants.”
BAMN organizers will also announce a statewide campaign to strike down Proposition 209. Hoku Jeffrey, BAMN national organizer said, “Two years ago, black, Latina/o, Asian and white students protested a series of blatantly racist incidents on a number of UC campuses. We intend to build a campaign on every campus of the UC to end the racist exclusion of Latina/o, black and Native American students that feeds the hostile environment that led to those incidents.”
BAMN organized a demonstration of 50,000 people outside the Supreme Court on the day of the arguments in Grutter v. Bollinger (University of Michigan affirmative action case). Driver said “We intend to build similar demonstrations in California to ensure that Proposition 209 is struck down.”