The Jury Talks Back


California magnet schools can consider race

Filed under: California Politics — aunursa @ 5:18 am

A three-judge panel ruled that, despite the election of Barack Obama, Americans are still not entitled to enter a post-racial society.

Okay, that wasn’t the actual court statement. The state appelate court panel ruled that the Los Angeles Unified School District could use race as a factor in admissions to magnet schools, contrary to the Proposition 209 ban.  Magnet schools use academics or specialized curricula (such as a specific focus on science or mathematics) to draw students from outside the normal school boundary.  California Proposition 209, passed by voters in 1996, prohibits state and local schools and employers from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in admissions.  The Pacific Legal Foundation, which argued the case, is considering an appeal.

ACLU attorney Catherine Lhamon was delighted.  “It’s an unequivocal victory for students in this district and terrific news for students statewide,” she said.

Catherine, it’s not a victory for those students who will continue to face discrimination based on their race.


  1. So they could say “Nope… we’re full on blacks…” and reject a student?

    God, TELL me that someone is going to do that, to prove the point on how this sort of thing is utterly RETARDED…

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 12/22/2008 @ 7:14 am

  2. Don’t they teach reading comprehension in law school? Or is it “reading un-comprehension”?
    You would think that after a life-time in practice, and on the bench, a judge would know how to read, and understand, the simple words of P-209?
    You would think that, only if you are simple-minded, average-joe citizen who resides in the real world, and not the resident of some mythical ivory-tower who wishes to impose his ideals on an imperfect (in his mind) world.

    Comment by Another Drew — 12/22/2008 @ 10:28 am

  3. Aside from California voters once again being reminded their votes have no value, this seems such a step backwards. I am curious as to how long it will be for other districts to follow suit? This is the current standard of entrance into a magnet at the Southern California district I work for,

    Per the 1994 Parental Choice Law, intra-district transfer approvals are based on the number of requests received versus the number of spaces available. If more intra-district transfers are received than there are spaces available, the seats will be filed using a random unbiased drawing method.

    As it currently stands, the only reasons for denying entrance into a magnet or for removing a current magnet student, is based on meeting 3 criteria: attendance, disciplinary issues and academic standings. If any is lacking, back they go to their home school. If race is now a determination for entrance/acceptance into a magnet, do the three basic criteria become nullified in favor of race? How will the standards be adjusted to accomodate this entrance standard? What a can of worms they’ve opened.

    Comment by Dana — 12/22/2008 @ 12:27 pm

  4. I wonder how many CA appellate judges were appointed by Democrats or were weak GOP candidates because the Democrat legislature would not ratify anyone who disagreed with Rose Bird or could actually read English, and not as a 4th language?

    Comment by PCD — 12/22/2008 @ 12:31 pm

  5. Catherine Lhamon is the “racial justice director” at the ACLU of Southern California.

    Comment by aunursa — 12/22/2008 @ 1:48 pm

  6. Let us not forget that the Director of the SoCal ACLU is Ms. Ramona Ripston,
    the wife of Judge Steven Reinhardt of the 9th-Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Comment by Another Drew — 12/22/2008 @ 2:53 pm

  7. I don’t like reverse discrimination any more than the next guy, but I’m not sure the ruling is “contrary to the Proposition 209 ban.” I haven’t read the decision itself, but according to the LAT article the panel upheld the discriminatory practices because they were ordered by a 1981 court decision. If that’s true, then Prop 209 by its terms does not apply.

    Comment by Xrlq — 12/22/2008 @ 4:34 pm

  8. Ahhh, court ordered discrimination.
    It doesn’t get any better than that, because everyone knows that the courts’ are the absolute epitome of a just and equal society.
    If that was a state court ordered practice, shouldn’t the original court have to review it in light of the changes wrought to the CA Constitution by P-209?
    And, who in their right mind would say that the conditions today mimic those that prevailed at the time of the original decision.
    This is just another example of Left/Liberal activism endemic in the Judicial System.

    Comment by Another Drew — 12/22/2008 @ 4:51 pm

  9. Xrlq: The Pacific Legal Foundation argued that “the court in that earlier case terminated its jurisdiction, and discharged the writ, so the programs are invalid under Proposition 209.”

    Comment by aunursa — 12/22/2008 @ 5:02 pm

  10. AD: no court would ever have to review a past decision in light of Prop 209, because Prop 209 itself grandfathers in “any court order or consent decree which is in force as of the effective date of this section.”

    Aunursa: it looks like a factual decision over whether the original court ruling is still in force, not a general debate over whether magnet schools are exempt from Prop 209.

    Comment by Xrlq — 12/22/2008 @ 6:46 pm

  11. Comment by Xrlq — 12/22/2008 @ 6:46 pm
    Thanks for the update.
    I just have a very severe mistrust of the Judiciary when it comes to schools, after what they did with bussing, and the KC fiasco.

    Comment by Another Drew — 12/22/2008 @ 7:53 pm

  12. Our child got bonus points in Chicago for being white to get into competitive elementary schools, and negative points for being white for getting into competitive high schools. And guess who has the hardest time getting into Chicago’s competitive schools? African-American females.

    It is such a game in Chicago. Even the lottery schools are subject to “pay-for-play.”

    Comment by Obama's Neighbor — 12/22/2008 @ 11:12 pm

  13. xrlq–

    Busing made it so that few white kids go to the LA schools. Not that folks wanted lily-white schools, but they certainly did not want their kids bussed for an hour each way to gangland schools. So now you have schools in West LA that have few local kids at all — everyone is brought in from elsewhere.

    Magnet schools were intended to redress this problem. But I see that this won’t be left alone either.

    Also in today’s paper is the new Arts magnet school, where actual aptitude in arts might not be the sole requirement for admission. Of course, they’d need a staff first. Can’t seem to hire one. In Hollywood.

    Comment by Kevin Murphy — 12/23/2008 @ 12:28 am

  14. Liberal alert — time to argue the other way.

    According to the LA Times: “In a district where more than 90% of students are nonwhite, it is no longer possible to integrate the school system, he said. The magnet system mandates that 30% or 40% of the seats in a school be set aside for white students.”

    So, this is really a victory for WHITE PRIVILEGE, brought to you my the ACLU. Just like the old days.

    Comment by Kevin Murphy — 12/23/2008 @ 12:36 am

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