California Governor Puts the Fate of California’s Affirmative Action Policy in the Hands of the 9th Circuit

October 9th, 2011


I wholeheartedly agree with the goal of this legislation…. But while I agree with this legislation, I must return the bill without my signature. Our constitutional system of separation of powers requires that the courts — not the Legislature — determine the limits of Proposition 209. Indeed, there is already a court case pending in the 9th Circuit against the State and UC on the same issues addressed in this bill. Signing this bill is unlikely to impact how Proposition 209 is ultimately interpreted by the courts; it will just encourage the 209 advocates to file more costly and confusing lawsuits.

Somewhere Stephen Reinhardt must be laughing his butt off.

Update: Orin Kerr also blogs about a similar veto message of a bill that limites searches of a cell phone incident to arrest.

I am returning Senate Bill 914 without my signature.
This measure would overturn a California Supreme Court decision that held that police officers can lawfully search the cell phones of people who they arrest.
Courts are better suited to resolve the complex and case specific issues relating to constitutional search-and-seizures protections.

He really seems to like deferring to the courts. Now if only courts (especially California courts!) showed a similar deference in reverse.