BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SCR 35|
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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  SCR 35
          Author:   Stone (R), et al.
          Amended:  5/6/15  
          Vote:     21 

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:  6-0, 4/29/15
           AYES:  Liu, Block, Hancock, Leyva, Mendoza, Pan
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Runner, Monning, Vidak

           SUBJECT:   Anti-Semitism


          SOURCE:    Author


          DIGEST:  This bill urges each University of California (UC)  
          campus to adopt a resolution condemning all forms of  
          anti-Semitism and racism, including Islamophobia, and declares  
          the Legislature's condemnation of anti-Semitism at all publicly  
          funded schools in the State of California.


          ANALYSIS:   


          Existing law:


          1)Prohibits the UC Regents, California State University (CSU)  
            Trustees, and Community College District governing boards from  
            making or enforcing a rule subjecting a student to  
            disciplinary sanction solely on the basis of conduct that is  
            speech or other communication that, when engaged in outside a  








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            campus of those institutions, is protected from governmental  
            restriction by the First Amendment to the United States  
            Constitution or Section 2 of Article I of the California  
            Constitution.  Existing law authorizes a student to commence a  
            civil action against an institution that has made or enforced  
            such a rule. (EC  66301)


          2)Clarifies that the aforementioned law does not prohibit the  
            imposition of discipline for harassment, threats, or  
            intimidation, unless constitutionally protected; nor does it  
            prohibit an institution from adopting rules and regulations  
            designed to prevent hate violence from being directed at  
            students in a manner that denies full participation in the  
            educational process, if the rules and regulations conform to  
            constitutional rights. (EC  66301)


          3)Prohibits an employee from being dismissed, suspended,  
            disciplined, reassigned, transferred, or otherwise retaliated  
            against solely for acting to protect a student engaged in  
            conduct protected by the constitution or the aforementioned  
            laws, or for refusing to infringe upon conduct that is  
            protected by the constitution or the aforementioned laws.  (EC  
             66301)


          4)Requests the UC Regents, the CSU Trustees, and local community  
            college governing boards, to adopt and publish policies on  
            harassment, intimidation, and bullying. (EC  66302)


          This bill:


          1)Urges each UC campus to adopt a resolution condemning all  
            forms of anti-Semitism and racism, including Islamophobia.


          2)Resolves the Legislature's condemnation of any act of  
            anti-Semitism at all publicly funded schools in the State of  
            California.  









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          3)Clarifies that nothing in the resolution is intended to  
            diminish the rights of students or anyone else to freely  
            discuss or engage in any legal speech or other activity  
            protected by the United State Constitution.


          4)Makes the following findings:


             a)   That the United States Department of State has defined  
               anti-Semitism as specified.


             b)   That there is clear evidence of increasing and alarming  
               incidents and expression of anti-Semitism throughout the  
               world and that one can witness the proliferation of  
               anti-Semitic activity.


             c)   That the Jewish Caucus of the Legislature held a related  
               press conference in February 2015 and an estimated 500  
               people gathered at the Capitol to protest anti-Semitic acts  
               across the nation.


             d)   That swastikas and other anti-Semitic sentiments have  
               increased on college campuses across the country and around  
               the world.


             e)   That record anti-Semitic acts around the world in 2014  
               included murders, attacks, death threats, arson, graffiti,  
               and other acts.


             f)   That these acts extended to soccer stadiums, the  
               internet, editorial cartoons, Nazi salutes, and lead Jewish  
               individuals to conceal their religious and ethnic identity.


             g)   That the governments of France, Germany, Italy and the  
               United Kingdom, where the majority of European anti-Semitic  
               acts have occurred, have condemned anti-Semitism and  
               declared attacks on their Jewish communities intolerable.







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             h)   That the State of California actively promotes tolerance  
               of all faiths and religions and the United States  
               government has played an active role in counteracting the  
               resurgence of anti-Semitism worldwide.


             i)   That the Legislature joins in the unequivocal  
               condemnation of all forms of anti-Semitism and rejects all  
               forms of anti-Semitism and attempts to justify anti-Jewish  
               hatred or violent attacks as an acceptable expression of  
               disapproval or frustration over political events in the  
               Middle East or elsewhere.


          Comments


          1)Need for the bill.  According to the author, this resolution  
            is prompted by the display of a Nazi swastika on top of an  
            American flag at a Sacramento home and the spraying of  
            swastikas on a Jewish fraternity building near the UC Davis  
            campus.  According to the author, this resolution seeks to  
            condemn the rise of anti-Semitism that he opines has been seen  
            across the state and around the world.  

          2)Clarifying definitions.  This resolution references a  
            definition of anti-Semitism issued by the United States  
            Department of State.  Senate Education Committee staff notes  
            that this definition has come under criticism as expanding  
            beyond a definition of anti-Semitism as hatred, violence,  
            intimidation or discrimination targeting Jews because of their  
            ethnic and religious identity to encompassing political speech  
            and activities critical of policies related to the state of  
            Israel. 

          3)Islamophobia.  This bill calls for the adoption of a  
            resolution condemning anti-Semitism and racism, including  
            Islamophobia.  According to the Council on American-Islamic  
            Relations' (CAIR) website, Islamophobia is closed-minded  
            prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. An  
            Islamophobe is an individual who holds a closed-minded view of  
            Islam and promotes prejudice against or hatred of Muslims.







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          4)Related UC Activity. The UC reports several responses and  
            related policies:

             a)   In March 2015, the UC President and UC Board of Regents  
               Chairman issued a statement speaking out against bigotry  
               and hate in light of recent instances of anti-Semitism on  
               UC campuses. The statement  explained that anti-Semitic  
               incidents, as well as bigotry directed against any member  
               of the UC community because of their faith, ethnicity,  
               gender or sexual orientation, will not be tolerated and  
               deserve condemnation.

             b)   Each of the UC campuses has their own policy regarding  
               the freedom of expression. In addition to these individual  
               policies, the Board of Regents has also established a  
               policy on employee and student protections related to  
               student press and student free speech rights. These  
               policies are based on the belief that free expression,  
               robust discourse, and the vigorous debate over ideas and  
               principles are essential to the mission of the UC. 

             c)   In 2010, UC established a systemwide Campus Climate  
               Incidents Reporting System, a 24-hour hotline for reporting  
               incidents of bias, hate, intolerance, and intimidation. The  
               new hotline was integrated with existing hotlines at the  
               nine undergraduate campuses, and is staffed by an outside  
               vendor to ensure confidentiality.

             d)   In 2011, based on deliberations with campus  
               administrations, students, and the UC President's Advisory  
               Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion, the UC  
               amended its policies on student conduct which enhanced the  
               capacity of campus administrators to respond to acts of  
               discrimination, particularly where the victim was targeted  
               because of their identity.

             e)   In 2011, several members of the UC President's Advisory  
               Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion visited  
               some UC campuses and met with members of the Jewish  
               community to engage in fact-finding and identify ways to  
               make campuses more inclusive and welcoming for Jewish  
               students. Similarly, Council members also met with members  
               of the Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab communities, to gain  







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               insight into the educational and co-curricular experiences  
               of Muslim and Arab students and identify ways to make  
               campuses more inclusive and welcoming for them. Several  
               recommendations that came out of these meetings have been  
               implemented, including collecting data in a more inclusive  
               way, addressing dietary and living accommodation needs of  
               Muslim and Jewish students, and providing student  
               meditation or reflection space on campuses.

             f)   Beginning fall of 2012, the UC surveyed its faculty and  
               other academic appointees, students, staff, trainees, and  
               post-doctoral scholars about their experiences and  
               perceptions of campus or workplace climate. In response to  
               the findings of the UC Campus Climate Study, each UC campus  
               has convened a group of representatives to develop and  
               execute action plans to address key issues raised in the  
               survey.

          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No


          SUPPORT:   (Verified5/8/15)


          The Lawfare Project


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified5/7/15)




          Asian Law Caucus


          Center for Constitutional Rights
          Jewish Voice for Peace
          National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles

          Prepared by:Kathleen Chavira / ED. / (916) 651-4105
          5/8/15 16:51:55









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