By a 6-1 vote, the California Supreme Court has rejected much of San Francisco’s legal justification for the continuing use of minority preferences in public contracting.

Such preferences are banned under Proposition 209, and the justices on Monday said San Francisco was unlikely to establish that its program was compelled by federal law. The contracting provision in Prop 209 “prohibits race- and gender-conscious programs the federal equal protection clause permits but does not require,” explained Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar.

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