November 30, 2012

The California Supreme Court gets it right in Proposition 13 case

By The California Supreme Court gets it right in Proposition 13 case

In light of the Court’s recent, disappointing decision in the Pacific Palisades Coastal Commission case, it’s encouraging to note when the Court got it right in Young v. Schmidt.  This was the case brought by former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young challenging Proposition 13’s legislative super-majority vote requirement.  Young maintained that Proposition 13 was never validly enacted in the first place because it fundamentally “revised” the California Constitution, rather than merely amending it.  In California, voters may only use their initiative power to amend the Constitution; they may not revise it.  In July, the California Court of Appeal rejected Young’s argument in a victory for taxpayers.  The California Supreme Court has implicitly affirmed that decision by declining to review the Court of Appeal’s decision.  The right of California voters’ and taxpayers’ to directly limit government’s power over taxation once again stands on solid ground.  PLF filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeal supporting Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association which defended Proposition 13 in this legal challenge.

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