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California Supreme Court upholds law barring affirmative action

August 2, 2010 |  1:33 pm

The California Supreme Court Monday decided that Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action in government, does not violate federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

In a 6-1 ruling, the state high court said a San Francisco affirmative action program in public contracting was not protected by the federal constitution.

The court said a lawsuit against San Francisco can to go to trial to determine if the contracting program was necessary to redress deliberate discrimination against women and minorities. If not, Proposition 209 requires the city to end the preferences, the court said.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative public interest group that challenged the program, said the city lacked the necessary evidence to justify the affirmative action and eventually would have to scrap it.

-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco