12AD.3.9 To Appeal Proposition 14 I Ruling To U.S. Supreme Court
In the months after the legislation passed, groups opposed to Proposition 14 quickly took action. In 1965, Lincoln and Dorothy Mulkey tried to rent an apartment in Santa Ana and were turned down solely based on their race. With support from the NAACP, the Mulkeys sued the land owner in state court. The trial judge declared that Article 1, Section 26 of the California State Constitution (the law created by Proposition 14) violated the Mulkeys’ Fourteenth Amendment rights. Lawyers for the California Real Estate Association arranged to appeal the California state court’s decision, believing that the court ruled against the will of the majority of voters in California. As the president of the CREA described it, this was a “fight to uphold the expressed will of the four and one half million voters of this state who approved Proposition 14.” The next step in this battle would be presenting the controversy to the United States Supreme Court.
How did the California Supreme Court’s decision change the outcome of the Proposition 14 vote? Based on this decision, which does the California state court consider to be more important: the will of the majority of people living in California or the rights of people being discriminated against? Why might someone who disagrees with the California Supreme Court want to continue to challenge their decision in the United States Supreme Court?
This source aims to help students understand the significance of the California Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the law created by Proposition 14. Students may need to learn the process by which laws can be contested, which is by bringing civil cases to be adjudicated in front of state courts. While Proposition 14 represented the will of the majority of California’s voters, the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution — especially the Equal Protection Clause — justified the court’s decision; this concept should be explored. Students may bring in their prior studies of federalism to track the chain and supremacy of different courts in interpreting laws. Students can use this example to learn about how state court decisions can be challenged in the United States Supreme Court. This example helps to illustrate the legal checks on the dangers of majority rule; be sure that students use this as a piece of evidence to help consider the question, What are the dangers of majority rule?
To Appeal Proposition 14 I Ruling To U.S. Supreme Court
The California Real Estate Association will take the decision by the California Supreme Court that Proposition 14 is unconstitutional to the United States Supreme Court, it was announced today by Burt Smith of Bellflower, CREA president. He told a Los Angeles news conference that the association’s executive committee made the decision during a meeting June 12, and instructed its attorney’s to petition the federal court for a writ of certiorari in two of the seven cases involved in the state court’s May 10 decision. The two cases are Mulkey v. Reitman and Prendergast v. Snyder, both defended by CREA attorneys. A rehearing of them was denied by the state court on June 8.
Smith said that the board of directors of the 55,000 - member association earlier authorized such action as part of its approval to defend Proposition 14 in the courts. “Someone must fight to uphold the expressed will of the four and one half million voters of this state who approved Proposition 14.” he said, “so we’re doing it. We are certain the California Supreme Court was dead wrong in its ruling against the voters. We are confident the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the decision.”
Smith said he based that confidence on previous decisions of. the federal court. “It’s important to recognize,” he commented, “that the California court’s decision went into an area of interpretation of the law far beyond that of any other court when it held that the people cannot prevail without becoming involved in ‘state action’ as defined in that amendment. “We also strongly protest,” he added, “the court's refusal to recognize that the people’s vote clearly repealed parts of the Rumford Act.”
Proposition 14 was adopted in 1964 by a vote of 4,526,469 to 12,395,747. It restored the right of the owner of residential property to rent or sell his property to anyone as he saw fit. The State Supreme Court held that in exercising such freedom of choice, the owner might racially discriminate and thereby violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution. In overturning the people’s vote on Proposition 14, the court reinstated provisions of the Rumford and Unruh Acts which forbid racial and religious discrimination by some owners of residential property. Smith commented that the court’s reversal January 8 of its decision in Hill vs. Miller, one of the cases it considered, was “merely to straighten out its own mistake.” The case involved a single family home which did not have publicly assisted financing and did not come under the Rumford Act. This was one of the errors we pointed out in our petition for a rehearing.