Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Immigration Law Leading; High Court Challenge Likely

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Immigration Law Leading; High Court Challenge Likely

Article excerpt

Victory was projected late Tuesday for California's anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 by three television channels after voter returns of 30 percent showed the measure winning by a 2-to-1 ratio.

With 7,626 of 25,169 precincts reporting, the measure was ahead with 1,468,992 votes, or 63 percent, to 865,456 no votes, or 37 percent.

The vote was considered so potentially explosive that police throughout Southern California mounted a show of force to head off possible civil unrest if it was approved. But the streets remained calm Tuesday night and protests against the measure remained confined largely to peaceful rallies organized by Proposition 187 opponents.

Backers claimed the measure, which aimed to end public schooling, public health care and other tax-financed services for illegal aliens, will "send a message" to Washington, even if some of its components are later found unconstitutional. "It's time we put some of these questions back before the courts," said Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, one of the measure's chief backers.

And opponents immediately promised they would take the measure to court.

"We are going to go to court, and we will defeat it there," declared Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Even the proposition's writers recognized that its eventual fate will be determined by the Supreme Court.

"We expect it will take two years to get that far," said initiative co-author Harold Ezell, former Western regional commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "This will not affect the way we register students in our schools next Monday. It will take longer."

That also was the position of newly elected state Schools Superintendent Delaine Eastin, a Democratic legislator. "I believe (Proposition) 187 violates the Constitution, and I have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution," she said.

Elsewhere, voters unleashed their foul mood Tuesday, cracking down on crime and long-term politicians.

Voters in Maine, Nebraska, Nevada and the District of Columbia approved congressional term limits, Nebraskans for the second time in two years. Term limits, the preferred remedy for the '90s voter sick of longtime incumbents, were on ballots in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, the District of Columbia and several cities and counties. …

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