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Judge Orders Calif. Officials To Publicize Prop 187 Ruling

California officials must publicize a court order that restricts enforcement of the controversial Proposition 187 until legal challenges to the new law are resolved, a federal judge has ruled.

Numerous lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 187 have been filed since voters approved the measure on Nov. 8. (See related stories, 11/16/94 and 11/23/94 .)

U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in December issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of most provisions of Prop 187 until a trial determines its legality. The law would deny illegal immigrants most social services, including public education.

Under Judge Pfaelzer's order, state agencies can continue to draft regulations on how they would carry out the law, should the courts uphold it, but may not make such regulations public.

In a written order last month, the judge required state officials to distribute copies of the injunction by Jan. 30 to school districts, welfare offices, and other public facilities. By Feb. 13, schools are to post bulletins informing the public that Prop 187 has been barred from taking effect, the judge ordered.

Service, Not Servitude

A New York school system may require students to perform community service to graduate from high school, a federal judge ruled this month.

Daniel Immediato, a 17-year-old high school senior, filed a lawsuit against the 1,100-student Rye Neck district in Mamaroneck last spring. He claimed that being required to work for free was tantamount to involuntary servitude. (See Education Week, April 27, 1994.)

But, U.S. District Judge Charles L. Brieant ruled that requiring 40 hours of service to graduate does not violate the 13th Amendment's prohibition against slavery.

"The educational benefit to the individual student outweighs the burden of the labor requirement," the judge wrote in his opinion.

Lawyers for the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public-interest law firm representing the student, said they would appeal the decision.

Vol. 14, Issue 19

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