Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why the California Legislature Can’t Simply Repeal the Judicially Invalidated Proposition 187

In 1994, California voters by a 2-1 margin passed a state immigration enforcement law known as Proposition 187 that proved to be a precursor to the more recent spate of state and local immigration enforcement laws, including Arizona's S.B. 1070.   As occurred with many of those laws, a court struck down core provisions of the initiative on the grounds that it was preempted by federal immigration law.


In this post, Professor Vik Amar thoughtfully analyzes a pending effort by California lawmakers to cleanse the California statute books of some of Proposition 187's provisions. "While the goals of this legislative endeavor are understandable, the attempt reflects fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the legislature’s authority, and the essence of judicial review (i.e., the power of courts to declare enactments unconstitutional.)"

Besides the proposed "repealing" of Proposition 187, the repeal of Proposition 227, a 1998 initiative that bans bilingual education in the public schools, has been proposed in recent months.  The measure had disparate impacts on Latinos in the state.


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