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Jewish Community Relations Council v. John Arntz, in his official capacity as Director of Elections

Case Conclusion Date: 07.28.2011

Practice Area: State, local, and municipal law

Outcome: Motion Granted: Judge Loretta Giorgi ruled that the measure is pre-empted by a state law concerning medical procedures, and therefore the measure was to be removed from the November 8, 2011 ballot.

Description: A preempted and invalid ordinance criminalizing male circumcisions was to be placed on San Francisco’s November 8, 2011 election ballot. California law denies its localities the power to “prohibit a healing arts professional licensed with the state . . . from engaging in any act or performing any procedure that falls within the professionally recognized scope of practice of that license.” (Bus. & Prof. Code § 460(b).) As male circumcision is a medically recognized procedure, San Francisco has no power to enact an ordinance barring circumcisions. The proposed ban would have punished people who circumcise a minor with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail.

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