Originally created 02/25/97

'Not like Serbia'



The people's will may yet be done in California. The arrogant U.S. district court judge who blocked implementation of the constitutional amendment voters approved last November to ban racial and gender preferences in state employment, education and contracting had his ruling overturned.

Not only did the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rule unanimously, the three appellate jurists also made certain the case won't go back to activist Judge Thelton Henderson's courtroom, as is the usual custom.

Instead, hearings and a formal determination on whether the California Civil Rights Initiative may be constitutionally enforced by state and local authorities will be done by the three-judge appellate panel itself.

"Judge shopping" CCRI foes are climbing the walls in frustration. Left-winger Henderson was their best bet to keep gaming the system to bottle up the initiative.

The appeals court, on the other hand, seems in no mood to play games. It swept aside Henderson's outrageous intervention with unusual ferocity.

The state of California, appellate Judge Andrew Kleinfeld told an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, "is not like Serbia or Algeria" where "first they have the elections and then decide whether to honor them."