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View Diary: Prop 8 is dead, but not for the reason you'd want. (140 comments)

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  •  Is that any different from a federal admin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, vcmvo2, leonard145b, mchristi314

    declining to defend statutes that they consider to be unconstitutional? This case was not about the duty of government officials to defend laws.

    I think it's a tricky issue. When you take an oath to protect the laws there doesn't seem to be a provision for signing statements.

    •  The difference is that a voter initiative (5+ / 0-)

      is generally used in situations where the elected officials for one reason or another won't act.  So the voter initiative is a process whereby voters can essentially directly get things done regardless of whether the people in office currently support it. That's different from a situation where the same entity that passed it is the entity deciding whether to defend it.  Here, it's the entity that was directly bypassed because they presumably don't support what the voter initiative does that gets to decide the ultimate fact of the voter initiative.  

      In this case, the Court basically says that even after a voter initiative gets enough votes and gets something made law even over opposition by people in office, the people in office  effectively have the final say anyway.  

      If you don't like voter initiatives, that's a good result.  If you like the notion of a vehicle whereby the people can get things done that they want even when the elected officials refuse to act, you're kind of SOL.  

      •  If this is the... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        roycej, charliehall2, mchristi314

        shot in the heart to initiatives that you say it is I say hallelujah. Here in California nothing has served to screw-up our governance like the damn initiative process. I understand that people get frustrated and want to do something, anything, to change a situation they feel is wrong, but everyone time an initiative is passed the law of unintended consequences comes into play with a vengeance. My chief example is the infamous Prop 13.

        This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

        by Tonedevil on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 11:26:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They initially came into being (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dogs are fuzzy

          when the legislature was owned by Southern Pacific.

        •  Adam B made the same point as coffeetalk (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          offgrid, gecko, coffeetalk, Pi Li

          The ability for public officials to not defend voter passed state constitutional amendments can cut both ways. Think of a state initiative to impose more strict gun control that isn't defended by state office holders because in their view it is unconstitutional.

          The sponsors of Prop 8 didn't bake standing into the language of the proposition, which is standard. Had they done that it would have forced the Court to deal on the merits.

          I was already a California state political junkie when Prop 13 passed and it was a completely self inflicted injury because of state politicians who were completely tone deaf. The state legislature has months, if not years, to provide some type of property tax relief for seniors who were losing their homes (by required sale or foreclosure) due to rising property taxes. Many other states have put in place programs where seniors can accrue property taxes until they pass away or move as well as several other effective programs. That's all the legislature needed to do, but they didn't and let Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, with institutional real estate money, appeal to everyone to help grandma.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 05:28:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really appreciate your... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            scolding tone and condescending attitude. clearly I was too stupid to understand what the point of the article was or the comment from coffeetalk. Now that you point out the a gun control initiative could be stricken down on the same basis I must admit my entire paradigm has been shifted.
            My point seems to be so trifling as to have escaped your notice. I don't want any legislation done through the initiative process at all. Laws are complex tricky things and a word or two makes a huge difference that may not be noticeable until the law starts being enforced. The initiative process makes fixing some problem like that at a latter time a complete cluster fuck. During the run-up to the election you can't add amendments or fix the text, it is not a process that can produce good legislation.
            With that in mind I say if this helps people to see what a poor process for developing law initiatives are then good riddance to bad rubbish. That, as you have mentioned, the problem of standing can be overcome by writing it into the law exacerbates the problem.

            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

            by Tonedevil on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:47:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tonedevil - my apology (0+ / 0-)

              No scolding or condescending tone was intended. That is never my intent when I write here.

              Many people who are suffering from the effects of Prop 13 weren't here, or aware, when it was passed and don't know how easily it could have been avoided.

              I do agree that the initiative process has many faults. I might not do away with it completely, but make it more difficult, particularly for amendments to the state constitution.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 12:43:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Apology accepted... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                I actually do understand that the decision can be used on any initiative I just don't think the initiative process is a valid way to make law. Perhaps my comment was off topic, but I pretty much try to take any opportunity to shout to the hills that direct democracy in a large modern society is lunacy.

                This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                by Tonedevil on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 03:08:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Similar, To President Obama Declining To Defend, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, i dont get it

      DOMA on Constitutional grounds...

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