The California Supreme Court has directed the Fourth District Court of Appeal to vacate a 1999 ruling in which the City of Riverside's requirement that poolrooms be closed from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. was declared unconstitutional. In January 1999, a Fourth District panel ruled 2-1 that the Riverside ordinance violated poolroom owners' equal protection rights. (See CP&DR Legal Digest, March 1999.) The court said the city's law, which the owner of Mr. Cue's Family Billiards challenged, was "arbitrary and discriminatory" because there was no reason to single out poolrooms from other all-night businesses. The city said it sought to restrict poolroom hours to protect public safety. The state Supreme Court granted the city's petition for review. But in January of this year, the court transferred review back to the Fourth District with directions to vacate its decision and to reconsider the case in light of the state high court's August 1999 ruling in Warden v. State Bar, (1999) 21 Cal.4th 628. In Warden, the court ruled 5-2 that the state's mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) program — which exempts certain categories of licensed attorneys, such as elected officials, retired judges and full-time law professors — does not violate the equal protection rights of California lawyers. The court first ruled that the lesser "rational basis" test applied, not the "strict scrutiny" test that is required to protect a fundamental right under the state and federal constitutions' due process clauses. The court then said it could not be argued that that the MCLE exemptions were not determined on some rational basis. In deciding the poolroom case, the appellate court majority ruled that Riverside's ordinance failed the rational basis test, a conclusion not shared by Justice James Ward, who filed a lengthy dissent. The case is Estevanovich v. Riverside, S077146, E018016.