![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]>
Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Supreme Court of California
June 19, 2006, Filed
GEORGE, C. J.—As in the recent case of Costa v. Superior Court (2006) 37 Cal.4th 986 [39 Cal. Rptr. 3d 470, 128 P.3d 675] (Costa), we granted review in this case after a lower court, in an expedited preelection decision, directed that a proposed initiative measure—in this case, Proposition 80—be withheld from the November 8, 2005, election ballot. Unlike the situation presented to this court in Costa, however, in the present case the lower court's action was not based upon a determination [****2] that the initiative failed to comply with a procedural requirement relating to the circulation of the initiative petition. Here, the lower court's decision rested upon its conclusion that in light of the subject matter of the initiative measure at issue—which concerned energy regulation and contained several provisions conferring additional regulatory authority upon the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC)—the proposed measure was not one that, under the California Constitution, lawfully could be adopted by a vote of the [**180] people through the initiative process but rather was one that could be enacted only by the Legislature. Specifically, the Court of Appeal interpreted article XII, section 5 of the California Constitution—which provides in part that “[t]he Legislature has plenary power, unlimited by the other provisions of this constitution but consistent with this article, to confer additional authority and jurisdiction upon the [PUC]”—to mean that only the Legislature, and not the electorate through the initiative process, has the authority to enact statutory provisions that confer additional authority upon the PUC. In light of its understanding of this constitutional [****3] language, the Court of Appeal held that the provisions embodied in Proposition 80 could not be enacted through the initiative process and ordered the Secretary of State to withhold the measure from the November 2005 election ballot.
At the time the Court of Appeal issued its expedited preelection decision, the period for public inspection of the material to be included in the ballot pamphlet was about to commence. Therefore, the proponents of Proposition 80—real parties in interest in this proceeding—immediately filed an emergency petition for writ of mandate with this court (which we treated as a [*1024] petition for review of the Court of Appeal's decision), challenging the conclusion reached by that court and seeking to have the measure restored to the November 2005 ballot. After considering the emergency petition at conference, we unanimously voted to grant review, issuing an order that stated in part: “As the Court of Appeal recognized, California authorities establish that ‘it is usually more appropriate to review constitutional and other challenges to ballot propositions or initiative measures after an election rather than to disrupt the electoral process by preventing the exercise [****4] of the people's franchise, in the absence of some clear showing of invalidity.’ ( Brosnahan v. Eu (1982) 31 Cal.3d 1, 4 [181 Cal. Rptr. 100, 641 P.2d 200].) Because, unlike the Court of Appeal, at this point we cannot say that it is clear that article XII, section 5, of the California Constitution precludes the enactment of Proposition 80 as an initiative matter, we conclude that the validity of Proposition 80 need not and should not be determined prior to the November 8, 2005, election. Accordingly, the Secretary of State and other public officials are directed to proceed with all the required steps to place Proposition 80 in the ballot pamphlet and on the ballot of the special election to be held on November 8, 2005. After that election, we shall determine whether to retain jurisdiction in this matter and resolve the issues raised in the petition.”
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
38 Cal. 4th 1020 *; 136 P.3d 178 **; 44 Cal. Rptr. 3d 644 ***; 2006 Cal. LEXIS 7395 ****; 2006 Daily Journal DAR 7597; 2006 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5177
INDEPENDENT ENERGY PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION et al., Petitioners, v. BRUCE McPHERSON, as Secretary of State, etc., Respondent; ROBERT FINKELSTEIN et al., Real Parties in Interest.
Prior History: [****1] Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, No. C050115.
Independent Energy Producers Assn. v. McPherson, 131 Cal. App. 4th 298, 32 Cal. Rptr. 3d 535, 2005 Cal. App. LEXIS 1147 (Cal. App. 3d Dist., 2005)
election, initiative, confer, provisions, voters, additional authority, railroad commission, initiative measure, initiative process, initiative power, constitutional amendment, electricity, referendum, rates, constitutional provision, railroad, powers, preelection review, ballot, constitutional language, ballot pamphlet, plenary power, reasons, energy, real party in interest, special election, regulation, precludes, enact, taxes
Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Ripeness, General Overview, Governments, Legislation, Initiative & Referendum, Enactment, Energy & Utilities Law, Regulators, Public Utility Commissions, Authorities & Powers