Constitutional Law Keyed to Chemerinsky
Reitman v. Mulkey
The Respondents tried to rent an apartment and were rejected by the Petitioner, a private owner because of their race. At the time the Respondents attempted to rent the apartment, Section:Section:51 and 52 of the California Civil Code provided that all persons are free and equal and are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishment of every kind whatsoever. Pursuant to these statutory provisions, the Respondents sought injunctive relief and damages against the Petitioner. Proposition 14 was passed by California voters after the Respondents filed their complaint against the Petitioner. Proposition 14 states that neither the state of California nor its agencies would interfere with a private person’s choice to discriminate against others when selling or leasing property. The intent of Proposition 14 was to nullify previous laws that protected the rights of racial minorities to own and possess property. The Petitioner moved for summary judgment and argued that Proposition 14 had rendered Section:Section:51 and 52 of the California Civil Code null and void. The trial court granted the Petitioner’s summary judgment motion. The California Supreme Court held that Proposition 14 was invalid because it denied equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution).
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