Judge Giorgi removes SF MGM Bill from San Francisco ballot [updated with video]

Judge Loretta Giorgi of the Superior Court in San Francisco ruled against the SFMGMBill.org ballot initiative as was expected from her tentative ruling the day before. In addition, she ruled that the Doctors Opposing Circumcision Amicus Curiae brief was untimely and therefore would not be considered.

Outside, a protest was organized by Jonathon Conte and other Bay Area Intactivists to show support for Lloyd Schofield, the proponent of the measure. Two filmmakers and a host of media people were there to document the event.

Above: Lloyd Schofield speaks to the press after the hearing [Lloyd speaks at the 5:23 mark].

The text of the judge’s tentative ruling which becomes final barring a Notice of Appeal is below.

Case Number: CPF11511370

Case Title: JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF SAN et al VS. JOHN ARNTZ, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS DIRECTOR et al

Court Date: Jul-28-2011 09:30 AM

Calendar Matter: Notice Of Motion And Motion To Grant Writ Of Mandate And Injuinctive Relief; Compilation

Rulings: Set for hearing on Thursday, July 28, 2011, line 8, PETITIONERS JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF SAN FRANCISCO, THE PENINSULA, MARIN, SONOMA, ALAMEDA AND CONTRA COSTA COUNTIES, THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE, JEREMY BENJAMIN, JENNY BENJAMIN, LEO FUCHS, JONATHAN JAFFE, YAEL FRENKEL-JAFFE, SHEILA BARI, LETICIA PREZA, KASHIF ABDULLAH, BRIAN MCBETH, ERIC TABAS, Motion To Grant Writ Of Mandate And Injunctive Relief. 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. 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. The applications to file a brief as amicus curiae, to file a brief in excess of the maximum number of pages, and for pro hac vice admission by the Doctors Opposing Circumcision are denied. These motions were filed two days before hearing and courtesy copies were not provided until the day before hearing, which is extremely untimely.

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4 Responses to Judge Giorgi removes SF MGM Bill from San Francisco ballot [updated with video]

  1. The proposed bill made provisions for medical necessity, so striking it from the ballot because it regulates a medical procedure doesn’t really seem valid.
    At best, the circumcision of a healthy child is preventative medicine, and so these questions are the only ones that remain: Is destructive genital surgery a valid practice of preventative medicine? Are the children being circumcised for reasons of preventative medicine?
    I think it can be argued that it is not valid based on the positions of the medical establishments around the world and based on the AAP’s own policies. Moreover, there are numerous studies that show parents have their children circumcised primarily due to social norms (“to look like daddy”) rather than as a step of preventative medicine.
    Consequently, this is a nonsensical ruling.

  2. I would also like to add that the intactivists have been comipletely naive with regard to this bill’s handling; it’s bewildering that nobody drew up proper court documents in preparation for such a legal fight.

  3. Joe says:

    Dave, the document I saw (posted at circumstitions) indicated that Lloyd was representing himself, did he write the document too? Is he an attorney himself?

  4. YES< I'm surprised the DOC did not get their brief in on time. No Lloyd is not an attorney. In typical cases of being challenged, the SF district attorney would represent Lloyd or those who did everything right to get on the ballot. It is almost unheard of for as district attorney to represent the challenging plaintiffs because the initiative already went through the city process of qualifying for the ballot. The plaintiffs two religious families had help from the Religious Council had the always ready Jewish Anti Defamation League plus the ACLU Northern California Chapter. Bringing the lawsuit whenever they want would of course net them more time to prepare briefs. And they had many seasoned attorneys. So here we have San Francisco suing in San Francisco Court against San Francisco. (City Attorneys Office suing the Dept. of Elections).
    Judge Giorgi worked in the City Attorney's office from 1985-2006, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who opposes the circumcision ban initiative and has potentially worked with her for five years, from 2001-2006.Herrera has screened himself off from any election-related matters so as to avoid an appearance of a conflict of interest given that he's running for Mayor. Stewart (his replacement) has worked as the City Attorney's chief deputy from 2002 to the present. Judge Giorgi worked in the City Attorney's office from 1985-2006, so from 2002-2006, Stewart and Giorgi both worked in the City Attorney's office, perhaps together on some cases (?). Now Giorgi will be making a decision on a case where a brief was filed by Therese Stewart, a former co-worker. This still doesn't smell right to me. It's a little too cozy.
    The judge created an entirely new class of "medical" procedures with her ruling. She basically said that the non-indicated cutting of children's genitals is OK if parents and doctors say it is OK. To distinguish these from genuinely medically-indicated surgeries, it is proposed, and I agree, that these henceforth be known as "Giorgi". As in:
    "I have no objection to legitimate surgical interventions, but most American boys have a Giorgi at birth for purely cultural reasons. There is no reason my son or any boy had to endure a Giorgi, because he was healthy and whole at birth."
    "I resent my Giorgi, and I can't forgive my parents or the doctor."
    "The United States Congress stepped in to criminalize the Giorgi of girls in 1996, but thanks to a San Francisco judge the Giorgi of boys is alive and well."
    Lloyd Schofield's SFMGMbill.org initiative allowed only for medical circumcisions, knowing the state rule that only the state can regulate medical. Because the pro-circ extremists are funding (Bill and Melinda Gates) and creating pro circ seemingly medical studies, this is what was submitted in mass to the judge. Dr. John Taylor died last November and no one has taken his place to do research and studies of the penis and foreskin. Taylor was last working on the healthy relationship between the Glans and Prostate as a hydraulic system and the foreskin's nerves activation on it.
    Religious circumcisions were not given exemption because it is illegal to single out religion. (Of course all should be protected including females: note SFMGMbill is not sexist in that it doesn't say boys).
    Concerning the state bill AB768 to legally codify circumcision of MALES ONLY (Talk about sexist) pictured here of the dog and pony show (Fiona Ma and Mike Gatto), with so many serious budgetary problems facing the state of California, why are a few California state legislators worried about what initiatives local people get to vote on at the local level? Don't they have greater problems to deal with at the state level?
    Ma representing the largest community of Russian Jews and Gatto representing Burbank 40% Jewish, is it right that religious people should be writing into law?! (BTW the first step to this goal was SF's pro- circumcision court case.) Ma and Gatto took no questions even though this was touted as a discussion. Ma and Gatto were joined by Senator Mark Leno who is Jewish and promoting federal protection of circumcision and equally sexist too, HR2400.
    And what AB768 & HR2400 bills will do is codify into law circumcision so no one can sue- NO ONE! Even those who are botched or dead. It is especially an end run around those cut 18year olds born in 1997 who have standing to sue the feds. for not being equally protected from genital cutting. That's in 4 years. If such 18 yo sue/win then it can be argued that it should apply to all males and thus circumcision would be outlawed or female circumcision would be legalized. What happened in SF court hearing throwing SFMGMbill off the voters ballot is the first step to creating circumcision as medical meaning therapeutic., mean ing good for everyone, meaning mandatory circumcision for all. Until now non therapeutic circumcision has never been legally associated with health. Again this is what has prevented recommendation of circumcision. So I suggest taking the senate poll of HR2400 at POPVOX.

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