Background -- Proposition 187
Many lower federal courts manifest their disdain for the popular will of the people by arrogantly overturning the wishes of the majority of the voters expressed in statewide referenda. A single Jimmy Carter-appointed federal judge, Mariana Pfaelzer, in 1994 nullified California Proposition 187, which would have prohibited giving taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens. Proposition 187 received five million votes, but it was nullified by only one federal judge.
But Mariana Pfaelzer's ruling was not the last word. Proposition 187 was on its way to the Supreme Court for the final ruling, but Mariana Pfaelzer stalled the process long enough for then Governor Gray Davis to kill the proposition -- more accurately, kill the people's vote. Proposition 187 never had its day in court!