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Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 209

Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Don't let them change the subject. Proposition 209 bans discrimination and preferential treatment--period. Affirmative action programs that don't discriminate or grant preferential treatment will be UNCHANGED. Programs designed to ensure that all persons--regardless of race or gender--are informed of opportunities and treated with equal dignity and respect will continue as before.

Note that Proposition 209 doesn't prohibit consideration of economic disadvantage. Under the existing racial-preference system, a wealthy doctor's son may receive a preference for college admission over a dishwasher's daughter simply because he's from an ''underrepresented" race. THAT'S UNJUST. The state must remain free to help the economically disadvantaged, but not on the basis of race or sex.

Opponents mislead when they claim that Proposition 209 will legalize sex discrimination. Distinguished legal scholars, liberals and conservatives, have rejected that argument as ERRONEOUS. Proposition 209 adds NEW PROTECTION against sex discrimination on top of existing ones, which remain in full force and effect. It does NOTHING to any existing constitutional provisions.

Clause c is in the text for good reason. It uses the legally-tested language of the original 1964 Civil Rights Act in allowing sex to be considered only if it's a ''bona fide" qualification. Without that narrow exception, Proposition 209 would require unisex bathrooms and the hiring of prison guards who strip-search inmates without regard to sex. Anyone opposed to Proposition 209 is opposed to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Join the millions of voters who support Proposition 209. Vote YES.

Attorney General, State of California

State Senator

Professor of Law

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