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CA Supreme Court Takes Up Prop. 49

Wikipedia / Creative Commons
 

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

The California Supreme Court must decide whether lawmakers can put a proposition on the ballot that doesn’t create a law.

State lawmakers created Proposition 49 last year to ask voters whether Congress should amend the U.S. Constitution to undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United campaign finance ruling.

The state Supreme Court held the proposition from last year’s ballot, citing uncertainty about whether the Legislature can put measures on the ballot that don’t create laws.

Attorney Tom Hiltachk brought the case on behalf of the anti-tax Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. He says the ballot process is for creating laws.

"That vote is supposed to mean something," Hiltachk says. "Non-binding advisory questions on the ballot leave voters wondering which things they’re voting on count, and which things do not."

"It is completely consistent with the structure of our representative government, for [lawmakers] to seek the views of their constituents in order to vote accordingly," counters Fred Woocher, the attorney representing the Legislature.

The court’s decision will determine whether Proposition 49 appears on the 2016 ballot.