Democratic politicians oppose Trump, but ignore Californian’s civil rights

California’s Democratic politicians have spent the last few weeks declaring “resistance” to Donald Trump and other Republicans who now dominate the federal government.

They have proclaimed California’s right to fashion a “progressive” society and maintain its unique cultural values — using, ironically, rhetoric similar to that employed by George Wallace and other Southern segregationists a half-century ago.

As they pursue their vision of California, however, the state’s dominant Democrats are strangely willing to ignore, bend or even violate the civil rights of Californians who don’t happen to agree with that vision.

Within a few days this month, two federal judges spanked Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators for enacting two bills that, on their face, violate rights.

On Feb. 22, Vince Chhabria, a federal judge in San Francisco, enjoined the state from enforcing a new state law that would bar IMDb, a registry for actors, from revealing ages of performers, declaring that it violates free-speech rights.

The Screen Actors Guild-backed bill was passed after a suit against IMDb, a subsidiary of Amazon, failed. The suit alleged that publishing actors’ ages led to discrimination against older performers.

A few days later, Lawrence O’Neill, the chief U.S. district judge in Fresno, issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of a new state law that allows public officials to remove addresses and other personal information about themselves from exposure on the internet.

O’Neill also cited free-speech protections, saying that when a gun owners’ group published addresses, it was “a form of political protest.” The group was protesting a new state law that required purchasers of ammunition to supply personal information about themselves.

These are just the two most recent cases involving state legislation that targets specific groups in ways that may abridge their rights. In fact, the state’s tightest-in-the-nation gun control laws themselves are seen by gun owners as violating the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

One pending federal suit by an anti-abortion organization alleges that a state law requiring “pro-life pregnancy centers” to tell patrons that they can obtain low- or no-cost abortions violates free speech. The case appears headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Finally, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors filed suit Monday to overturn another new state law creating a commission to redraw the county’s five supervisorial districts after each census.

The state has such a commission to redraw legislative and congressional districts after each census. But the Los Angeles commission, unlike the state’s, would require members to reflect the partisan makeup of the county’s voters — thus handing overwhelming control to Democrats.

The law “tips the process, promoting partisanship, playing favorites between political parties and unaffiliated voters, and subverting local controls,” the suit contends.

One could surmise that one of those cultural values our politicians seek to enhance is unchallenged Democratic Party dominance of our politics.

Dan Walters is a political columnist for The Sacramento Bee.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faced with surge in shootings, Chief Scott reenvisions SFPD’s Gang Task Force

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Stores including Walgreens and Safeway are required to pay their employees additional hazard pay under a city ordinance that is currently set to expire later this month. (Shutterstock)
Grocery workers could gain additional weeks of $5 per hour hazard pay

San Francisco will vote next week on whether to extend a law… Continue reading

The fatal shooting of San Francisco resident Roger Allen by Daly City police on April 7 prompted protests in both cities. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Daly City approves body-worn and vehicle cameras for police after fatal shooting

Daly City officials on Wednesday approved body and vehicle cameras for police… Continue reading

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

Most Read