California Appeals Court Upholds Most of Prop 22 (Gig Worker Measure) But Agrees with Our Amicus Brief that a Provision Barring Amendments on Collective Bargaining is Unconstitutional

You can find the opinion at this link. [corrected link]

The issue that we briefed as the California Election Law Professors related to a limitation on amendments to the measure by the legislature. The court was unanimous in accepting this argument. The brief was for Joey Fishkin, Franita Tolson, and me, and written with co-counsel Kathryn Eidmann and Mark Rosenbaum of Public Counsel. Thanks as well to Alexandra Cadena and Madison Gunning who volunteered pro bono time to conduct excellent legal research as UCI Law Students.

Here’s the key holding of the point on the amendment issue we briefed, about a part of Prop. 22 infringing on the legislature’s power to legislate in related areas: “By extending Proposition 22’s article II, section 10(c) shadow to bar legislation on subjects which Proposition 22 does not otherwise directly address, section 7465(c)(4) intrudes on the Legislature’s authority to address a “ ‘ “related but distinct area” ’ ” or a matter that Proposition 22 “ ‘does not specifically authorize or prohibit.’ ” (Kelly, supra, 47 Cal.4th at pp. 1025–1026, italics omitted; cf. People v. Nash (2020) 52 Cal.App.5th 1041, 1059–1060 [legislation changing the bases for murder liability did not amend initiative that mandated increased sentences for murder convictions].) On its face, section 7465(c)(4) therefore violates the separation of powers for this reason as well.” The court also agreed with plaintiffs that part of Prop. 22 infringed on the judiciary’s power to decide what counts as an amendment.

Given the split decision of the intermediate appeals court, it is possible that one or both sides will file a petition for review in the California Supreme Court. So this case may not be over yet.

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