I often read conservatives claiming that Jerry Brown is a surprisingly solid choice as California’s Attorney General. I’m not so sure. He may be OK on some issues, but he has increasingly used his office to advance ridiculous legal postures that carry the whiff of expedience and political correctness. First there was his daft move to have Prop. 8 declared unconstitutional. Now Gov. Moonbeam is claiming that Proposition 209 — the proposition that outlaws affirmative action — is unconstitutional:
Brown’s brief, written by Solicitor General Manuel Medeiros, noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has set strict constitutional standards for judging race-conscious programs: They must be based on a history of discrimination against a group and must be designed to promote a legitimate goal, such as diversity in school enrollment, that cannot be met in other ways.
But Prop. 209 goes further and prohibits programs that the U.S. Constitution allows, without justification, Medeiros said.
So now these programs are constitutionally mandated??
“It closes a door to race- and gender-conscious programs that the 14th Amendment leaves open,” Medeiros said. The amendment requires states to provide equal protection under the law to all citizens.
“Ironically, by effectively disadvantaging racial minorities and women in the political process, without an evident compelling governmental reason for doing so, (Prop. 209) seems to accomplish the very evil it purported to eliminate … racial and gender discrimination,” Medeiros said.
So by refusing to use government to advantage particular racial or gender groups, Proposition 209 disadvantages those groups?
Brown’s office did not expressly ask the court to overturn Prop. 209. But if the justices followed the attorney general’s opinion, they would strike the measure down or narrow it to reflect federal standards, which would eliminate its independent effect.
Clearly, this is all done with Brown’s run for the Governor’s office in mind. Meaning he is twisting the law in liberal directions for political gain.
Now what could be wrong with that?