Prop 49: The Briefs and Amicus Filings

On January 4, 2016, The California Supreme Court released it's final (6-1) decision finding that Prop 49 was always a legitimate exercise of Legislative Authority.  However the Court neglected to restore Prop 49 directly to the November 2016 ballot.


The legitimacy of Proposition 49, The Overturn Citizens United Act, was challenged by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, claiming that the CA Legislature does not have the authority to place non-binding measures on the California ballot.  (An earlier HJTA petition the the 3rd District Court of Appeal pleading for similar relief was summarily dismissed.)  In response to the HJTA petition, The Supreme Court of California ordered the California Secretary of State to remove Proposition 49 from the California 2014 ballot.

The CA Supreme Court did not hear oral arguments before deciding to remove Prop 49 from the ballot.  The court decided in our favor.  But now the Legislature is asking for a Rehearing so that it can go on the November 2016 ballot.

Late yesterday the California Legislature filed for the Court to rehear HJTA v Padilla and Restore 49 to the November 2016 ballot as the Court should have done in its January 4th ruling.  The filing became official earlier today.

An Amicus Letter was also filed by MOVI, Free Speech For People, California Clean Money Campaign, CALPIRG and Courage Campaign to demonstrate to the Court that Prop 49 was driven by citizen action, to offer the Court new information and to dispel any lingering belief the Court may have that Prop 49 was a calculated act by a partisan legislature to drive turnout.

Sorry to report from the Secretary of State's office that "no action was taken" despite our hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls and the over 10,000 emails our friends at California Clean Money Campaign generated.  MOVI suggested to the SoS's office that Secretary Padilla might want to release a statement for these bitterly disappointed and still disenfranchised Californians who do not understand why he chose not defend our right to vote.

We'll be considering in the coming days how best to make our voices heard in the court now. (Please be in touch if you're bursting with an idea

Predictably, the Los Angeles Times  and the San Francisco Chronicle have published op-eds that are both factually wrong and betray corporate media's interest in keeping The Overturn Citizens United Act off the California ballot.

Both articles repeat the lie that this bill was driven by a Democratic Legislature’s desire to drive turnout.  We know that this was a campaign driven by California citizens outraged by the Citizens United decision.  NOW, the Court has the proof in the form of an amicus letter detailing how we, the citizens, drove Prop 49 through the Legislature and to the ballot.  Read the new amicus letter and the Legislature's brief.


All briefs have been filed by the interested parties.



Amicus briefs were also filed in support of the Legislature's right to place "advisory measures" on the ballot, the people's right to "instruct their representatives," and the historical uses of such measures in California and especially as those uses pertain to advancing calls for amendments to the US Constitution.  The deadline for filing Amicus Briefs has passed.



An amicus letter was submitted to Supreme Court of California by Congressman Ted Lieu. While he was a California State Senator, Congressman Lieu authored the bill in California Legislature (SB 1272, 2014) that became Proposition 49.  His letter describes how the Court's removal of Prop 49 has inhibited his ability to represent the interests of his constituents.

Congressman Lieu's Amicus Letter

No amicus briefs or letters were filed in support of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association position.

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