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Monday, November 07, 2005

UPDATE: Has the right-wing California Supreme Court helped place an unconstitutional initiative on the ballot?

It has come to my attention (via some reading for school) that it violates the California Constitution to include multiple subjects within a single proposition: "[A]n initiative measure embracing more than one subject may not be submitted to the electors or have any effect.” Cal. Const. art. II, § 8 (d).

After having a Republican governor for 16 consecutive years, our Supreme Court went from one of the most liberal in the country to being a staunchly conservative court. Recently, the Supreme Court has declined to use its power to strike down initiatives such as Proposition 21 that mentioned multiple subjects.

Still, the right-wing Court's adherence to Republican principles above the Rule of Law doesn't change the Rule of Law. The fact is that Proposition 76 amends the CA constitution to decrease school funding as well as gives the Governor unilateral power to cut spending anywhere he pleases. Both may be loosely related to the budget, but under that argument anything can be related to the budget because every state action has some sort of cost. The constitutional rights of schools to receive adequate funding is simply a completely different topic from increasing the power of the Governor and decreasing the power of the legislature.

As Judge Mosk pointed out, the proposition systems "is somewhat comparable to the public deciding by popular vote the appropriate technique for surgeons to employ in brain surgery."

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