PROP 187: ‘Final Shovel of Dirt’ Hits Its Grave
The five-year battle over Proposition 187, the initiative that would have denied non-emergency health care, public education and social services to undocumented immigrants, finally ended this week as U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer stopped all efforts to revive the measure. Pfaelzer was responsible for the original 1994 injunction against enforcing the law, and now has approved a July agreement between the state of California and civil rights groups to drop a challenge that ruling as well as a 1997 decision that called the initiative unconstitutional. Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said, "Today's announcement by Judge Pfaelzer is the final shovel of dirt on the grave of Proposition 187. Under the court-approved settlement, children may now go to school, and see doctors when ill, without regard to immigration status." But two groups not presently party to the case hope to appeal the decision to higher courts. "The people certainly deserve to have their initiative defended," said Sharon Browne of the Pacific Legal Foundation. And Stephen Yagman, a Los Angeles attorney who opposes the measure, but questions Pfaelzer's decision, "said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary, in order to have the constitutionality of Proposition 187 decided on its merits rather than by court order" (Harrigan, Sacramento Bee, 9/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.