WSJ article calls Cali SC last check against Democratic power

By David Yates | Nov 29, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – Perhaps the only thing keeping the Democratic supermajority in check in California is the state’s Supreme Court, suggests a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

In her Tuesday article “California Ballot Shenanigans,” Allysia Finely wrote: “The ultimate and perhaps only remaining check on Democratic power in Sacramento is the state Supreme Court, which last week nixed a constitutionally dubious gambit by the legislature to goose liberal voter turnout this November.”

The article refers to the high court’s Aug. 11 ruling on Proposition 49 – an advisory measure seeking to ascertain voter’s stances on the U.S. Supreme Court opinion regarding Citizens United v. FEC, which removed contribution restrictions on corporations.

If passed in November, Prop 49 would have called upon Congress to devise a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 landmark ruling.

In a 5-1 ruling, the California Supreme Court ordered the secretary of state to cancel election preparations for the measure due to ongoing litigation, essentially removing it from the ballot.

The WSJ article states that the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association sued to knock the question off the ballot, arguing that the measure was invalid since it would not change state law.

Offering a concurring opinion, Justice Goodwin Liu wrote that if California legislators really want ascertain voters’ stances on the measure, they could “commission Gallup to do a poll on" the Citizens United ruling, court records show.

The justice also found that the measure was "not an initiative or a referendum because it does not propose to enact any law."

Finely concludes her article by writing: “The ballot shenanigans ought to remind voters of the political antics that Democrats will attempt—and Gov. Brown will allow—if they win another supermajority in November.”

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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