White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry commented on Wednesday (12-11) that President Clinton has still not decided whether or not the federal government will intervene in the court case concerning the constitutionality of the anti-affirmative measure Prop. 209. Late Tuesday, the President granted Attorney General Janet Reno and Solicitor General Walter Dellinger another month to study legal issues surrounding the controversial measure. Indicating for the first time that the President might not involve the federal government in the case, McCurry said, “There was a presumption, given the president’s strong views [against] CCRI that we would enter this case at some point. That has been the presumption but it has to be based on very sound legal reasoning.”
Opponents to the measure argue that the deceptive measure denies women and people of color equal protections and opportunities. They point to a 1982 Supreme Court decision in which Justices overturned a Washington state ballot proposition limiting busing for school integration. The Court ruled that the measure was discriminatory in intent and operation. Prop. 209 is currently under a temporary restraining order barring governor Wilson from implementing it until a hearing scheduled for Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Had the President wanted to join the groups opposing the measure at that time, he would have had to make a decision by Wednesday, December 11th. The President still has the option of entering the legal battle at a later date.