News Eyman: Saving I-200
posted by June 21 at 16:02 PMon
Earlier today I slogged that Eyman had some new initiatives lined up. One of them dealt with “discrimination.”
I assumed this was one of those convoluted reactionary things saying that gay rights discriminate against straights by creating “preferences” and that Eyman’s initiative would say something about “no preferences.”
I guess my head was in Queer land (it’s pride week), and so I jumped to the conclusion that Eyman was taking another swipe at our state’s gay civil rights bill.
Eyman writes in to say it’s not about the gays. It’s more about Seattle School’s racial tiebreaker policy (which is currently in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.) Eyman wants to secure I-200. Here’s Eyman:
We’re exploring various potential initiative proposals. The one on ‘prohibiting discrimination’ relates to saving I-200, an initiative the voters approved in 1998 relating to race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin. Since its overwhelming passage, several governments have put loopholes in it and the courts have misinterpreted what “no preferential treatment” means when it comes to race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting. The 59% of the electorate who approved I-200 wanted state and local governments to simply treat everyone equally and wanted the government and the courts to respect its policies, not undermine them. Sexual orientation wasn’t included in I-200 and so it’s not included in this initiative.
Interestingly, there’s a U.S. Supreme Court case coming out soon which provides one example of what I’m referring to when it comes to I-200. The State Supreme Court said that Seattle’s “racial tiebreaker” school policy did not violate I-200. By any reasonable reading of the initiative, the State Supreme Court should have invalidated Seattle’s “racial tiebreaker.” Because they didn’t, it was appealed to the SCOTUS, and their upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which is due any day now, is widely expected to overturn this policy for Seattle schools and possibly schools throughout the nation. Again, this is just one example of Washington state’s courts and
the Legislature misinterpreting and undermining I-200.
P.s. In the Bush witch-hunt era (see Annie Wagner’s post), Eyman might want to add political persuasion into that mix of “no discrimination.”