Connerly Slams Ninth Circuit Judges

In response to some ridiculously false statements by the Ninth Circuit Court, Mr. Connerly released the following statement:

P.O. Box 189113
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 444-2278
(916) 444-2279 fax

September 15, 2003
CONTACT: Justin Jones (916) 444-2278 or


SACRAMENTO, CALIF.–Ward Connerly, chairman of the Yes on Proposition 54 campaign, expressed anger today at the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals’ gross mischaracterization of Prop 54. In their opinion today delaying the statewide California election planned for October 7, the Court wrote “Proposition 54 is another proposed amendment to the California Constitution which would prevent the State from collecting or retaining racial and ethnic data about health care, hate crimes, racial profiling, public education, and public safety.”

“We hope we never have to go before the Ninth Circuit Court,” said Mr. Connerly. “If anyone had any doubt about the political nature of the Ninth Circuit, we call your attention to this blatant twisting of the truth. We’ve told the opposition a thousand times, we’ve told the media a thousand times: Prop 54 will not affect anyone’s health care. There is a complete and total exemption for all medical patients and subjects. Prop 54 will not affect hate crimes–federal law requires this monitoring, and Prop 54 has a clear exemption for any racial classifications required by federal law or for federal funds. Prop 54 bans racial profiling outright. And Prop 54 says absolutely nothing about public safety. This biased spin has been taken right out of our opposition’s playbook. It’s simply not true.

“Furthermore, the Ninth Circuit demonstrated its short-sightedness on this
initiative by boiling it all down to be about ‘data.’ Prop 54 is not about data. It’s about whether or not the government has a right to recognize its citizens by race and classify them accordingly. I don’t think they should have that right. The opposition does. I have yet to hear from them a good reason why. Every time our government has recognized the race of its citizens and implemented that knowledge when making policy, it has led to practices like Jim Crow and the internment of American citizens. I think it’s time to end the practice of putting people in boxes.”

The Ninth Circuit Court did manage to accurately describe Prop 54 near the end of its opinion, by saying that “Proposition 54 would amend the California Constitution to prohibit state and local governments from using race, ethnicity, color, or national origin to classify current or prospective students, contractors, or employees in public education, contracting, or employment operations.” This is the first hint that the Ninth Circuit Court actually read Proposition 54.

“Batting .500 is good in baseball, but not good enough for a United States Circuit Court,” said Mr. Connerly. “They’re using political rhetoric instead of facts to make legal precedent.”

Prop 54 will bar the state and all local California governments from classifying individuals by race in the areas of public education, employment, contracting and most other government operations. Reasonable exemptions exist for medical research subjects and patients, racial classifications required by federal law or for federal funds and certain activities of law enforcement. The state legislature, by a two-thirds vote and with the governor’s approval, can vote to exempt any other reasonable area. Also, the Department of Fair Housing and Employment will receive a 10-year sun-setting exemption.

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