PLF Lawsuit Targets Caltrans' Race- and Sex-Based Quotas on Road, Highway Projects.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The California Department of Transportation The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is a government agency in the U.S. state of California. Its mission is to improve mobility across the state. It manages the state highway system and is actively involved with public transportation systems in California. (Caltrans) is violating the state and federal constitutions with its new program that uses race- and sex-based quotas in awarding contracts on federally funded projects. So contends a federal lawsuit filed today by Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys, representing Associated General Contractors Associated General Contractors of America is the nation's oldest and largest trade association representing the construction industry. It was formed in 1918 following a request by President Woodrow Wilson. of America, San Diego Chapter.
At issue is Caltrans' 2009 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE DBE
Dame Commander of the British Empire
DBE Dame (Commander of the Order) of the British Empire ) Program. On projects that receive federal funds Federal Funds
Funds deposited to regional Federal Reserve Banks by commercial banks, including funds in excess of reserve requirements.
These non-interest bearing deposits are lent out at the Fed funds rate to other banks unable to meet overnight reserve , Caltrans sets a quota of having 6.75 percent of contracts go to women or members of targeted groups - African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. , Asian-Pacific American, and Native American (but not Latinos or any other group) - through use of race or sex in awarding contracts.
"Caltrans is sideswiping opportunity by using race, not lowest cost by a responsible bidder, to decide who gets government contracts," said PLF Noun 1. PLF - a terrorist group formed in 1977 as the result of a split with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; became a satellite of al-Fatah; made terrorist attacks on Israel across the Lebanese border Principal Attorney Sharon Browne. "Caltrans' scheme of coding contractors by color is not only unfair and wasteful of tax dollars, it is unconstitutional."
For several years PLF contends that Caltrans sought approval for quotas from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The agency formally approved the quotas this spring. However, "this federal 'permission slip' to discriminate doesn't pass muster," said PLF's Browne.
PLF's lawsuit contends:
1. Caltrans' quotas are invalid under the U.S. Constitution. Under the Equal Protection Clause The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. , race- and sex-based preferences are allowed only to address clear evidence of discrimination. Caltrans has not supplied such evidence.
2. Caltrans' quotas are invalid under the California Constitution (Proposition 209, the voter-approved ban on race- and sex-based preferences in public contracting, employment, and education). Caltrans' quotas are not "narrowly tailored" to respond to specific, identified discrimination. Also, Caltrans cannot demonstrate it will lose federal money if it does not implement quotas.
The case: Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego Chapter, Inc., v. California Department of Transportation. Information: www.pacificlegal.org.