PROPOSITION 187: Davis May Have to Defend Initiative
Though Gov. Gray Davis is opposed to Proposition 187, which would deny medical and educational benefits to undocumented immigrants, his advisors are telling him that "he may have little legal choice but to pursue a court appeal in support" of the measure. A provision in the constitution states that "an administrative agency of state government has no right to refuse to enforce a statute that has not been determined by appellate court to be unconstitutional or in violation of federal law." The Sacramento Bee reports that the provision may provide Davis with a politically viable course of action by appeasing supporters of Proposition 187, while mollifying opponents by explaining that he had no choice but to do so. "The question before me is not whether I want to appeal personally but whether the governor of California is constitutionally obligated to do so," Davis said. Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles), who opposes Proposition 187, said, "If there is a legal or constitutional requirement that forces the governor to move ahead with the appeal, I couldn't object to that" (Capps, 4/9).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.