SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – San Francisco cannot ban male circumcision in the city and county because the proposed ballot initiative that would do so is “expressly pre-empted” by state business and professions codes, a Superior Court judge ruled.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi said the ballot proposal “serves no legitimate purpose” and ordered the elections board to strike it from the ballot.
San Francisco resident Lloyd Schofield led the fight to put the initiative on the ballot, calling male circumcision expensive and “damaging surgery to an unwilling patient.”
After signatures were collected, several groups challenged the proposal in court.
Giorgi wrote in a tentative ruling this week: “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. City of San Diego v. Dunkl, (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 384, 389.
“Accordingly, the Court issues a Writ of Mandate Ordering the Director of Elections for the City and County of San Francisco to remove the measure from the ballot in its entirety.”
(Courthouse News is a professional news gathering organization. You may insert your own circumcision jokes here: