CFER Foundation


Published March 27, 2024

The Appellate Court Rules In Our Favor! Another Solid Step Towards Legal Victory In Defending Prop. 209





We have some terrific news to share with you! On March 20th, the First Appellate District Court of the State of California heard our case in CALIFORNIANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION et al. v. COUNTY OF ALAMEDA et al. After hearing the oral arguments from our attorneys, the appellate court judge swiftly ruled in our favor to reverse the trial court's ruling which had time-barred our legal challenge. This is a significant milestone in our pursuit of equal opportunity and our defense of Prop. 209!

In July 2022, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) represented CFER and individual co-plaintiffs in an anti-discrimination case challenging two race-preferential public contracting programs that channel government funds to only minority-owned businesses in Alameda County. The case CALIFORNIANS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION et al. v. COUNTY OF ALAMEDA et al. is the first-ever lawsuit in defense of Prop. 209, since the infamous Prop. 16 was voted down in 2020!

In January 2023, the trial court issued an unfavorable ruling by granting Defendants' Motion for Judgment holding that the claims we seek are time-barred. PLF attorneys fought back with legal filings demonstrating the merits of our claims at the Court of Appeal, which then reversed the trial court's merit-less judgement, holding that our claims are facial and timely.

[Pictured below: Frank Xu of CFER, PLF Attorneys Jack Brown and Caleb Trotter in front of the Appellate Court]

While the Court of Appeal did not directly address the merits of our Complaint or rule on whether what the County of Alameda is doing is illegal, the ruling is nonetheless a solid victory for equality under the law! That is because the ruling held, over the County's objections, that a constitutional challenge to ongoing racial discrimination is not time-barred simply because the discrimination began years ago. In this sense, the ruling sets a positive precedent for future challenges to uphold equal protection.

We hope you are encouraged by this development and by CFER's unwavering commitment to equality through legal advocacy! Yesterday, CFER Executive Vice President Gail Heriot and CFER Executive Director Wenyuan Wu, joined PLF attorneys in a webinar discussing winning strategies and proven cases to combat racial preferences and racial discrimination in California. We will share a recording of the webinar with you soon.

At the national level, the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), a nonprofit led by CFER's long-term ally Mr. Edward Blum to pursue the same mission and vision like CFER, just achieved a major win today in their lawsuit against the Smithsonian Institute. The institute's National Museum of the American Latino has settled the lawsuit, agreeing to end its race-based undergraduate internship program. The favorable settlement affirms the fact that we are standing on the right side to fight against race-based treatment.

Defending and promoting equality takes hard work. Efforts of watchdog organizations like CFER and the AAER to monitor policy developments and mount legal challenges when necessary are indispensable. We hope you will consider making a contribution to CFER today so that we can continue to champion equality for every Californian!


Wenyuan Wu

About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):

We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.


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