The Bay Citizen reports that in a tentative ruling yesterday, a San Francisco (CA) Superior Court judge held that the San Francisco ballot initiative to ban male circumcision should be struck from the November ballot. Judge Loretta M. Giorgi held that the measure violates a state law that bars localities from regulating health care professionals who are also regulated at the state level. (See prior posting.) The Los Angeles Jewish Journal sets out the full text of the decision in Jewish Community Relations Council v. Arntz. The tentative ruling reads in part:
The Court finds that the proposed ballot Initiative is expressly preempted by California Business and Professions §460(b). The evidence presented is overwhelmingly persuasive that circumcision is a widely practiced medical procedure. California Business and Professions Code §460 (b) applies to medical services provided by a wide range of health care professionals. The statute speaks directly to the issue of local regulation of medical procedures and leaves no room for localities to regulate in this area. In fact, the legislative history of §460(b) confirms that the legislature intended to prevent cities and counties from regulating medical services which is a matter statewide concern. Because the proposed ballot initiative attempts to regulate a medical procedure, the proposed ordinance is expressly preempted. Moreover, it serves no legitimate purpose to allow a measure whose invalidity can be determined as a matter of law to remain on the ballot after such a ruling has been made.A hearing is scheduled in the case today at which the ruling will likely to be finalized. Circumcision opponents say they will pack the courtroom. An appeal of the decision, once it is final, is expected.
UPDATE: AP reports that on Thursday, Judge Giorgi confirmed the tentative decision she handed down a day earlier, striking the measure from the November ballot.