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Women and CCRI

* Sally Pipes and Eugene Volokh wrote an Op-Ed piece denying that the proposed California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) will have any discriminatory effect against women (Jan. 24). If only they were right.

They are wrong about two critical aspects of the law. First, CCRI will expand gender discrimination from bona fide occupational qualifications, where it is presently allowed, to education and contracting, where it has never been allowed. Second, as an amendment to the California Constitution, CCRI will override current laws protecting our rights. Current law allows for gender discrimination only when a “compelling interest” is served. CCRI will replace this test with a more relaxed one which will allow gender discrimination whenever it is deemed “reasonable.” As a result, the old laws and decisions that have protected us will be no more.

Finally, CCRI is unnecessary to protect people’s privacy rights. Those are protected now. CCRI moves in only one direction--to allow more discrimination.

ERWIN CHEMERINSKY

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Professor of Law, USC

LAURIE L. LEVENSON

Professor of Law, Loyola


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