Breaking News for California
Today, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling to restore Prop 49, The Overturn Citizens United Act, to the ballot. Californians will have the opportunity to instruct Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would limit campaign spending and establish that only human beings (and not corporations) have access to constitutional rights.
“The Court’s decision is clear Prop 49 was always legitimate,” said Michele Sutter, co-founder of MOVI (Money Out Voters In) the Overturn Citizens United Act’s sponsor in the California Legislature.
The ruling comes after the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association brought a case against the State, claiming that Prop 49 was an illegitimate use of legislative power. We disagree, and the Court does too.
At the beginning of 2015, Free Speech For People filed an amicus brief with our partners—MOVI, California Clean Money Campaign, CALPIRG, Common Cause California and Courage Campaign—arguing that a provision in the California Constitution provides the people with the right to “instruct their representatives”, a point in today’s ruling.
Our brief explained that the history of this provision, and of the contemporaneous practice of the California Legislature, demonstrates that it was intended to allow questions like Proposition 49. This is important not only in California, but also in other states that have similar constitutional provisions.
After the hearing in October 2015, California community groups and organizers delivered more than 112,000 signatures in support of the Court restoring Prop 49 to its rightful place, the ballot.
California voters do have the ‘right to instruct their representatives’ to act to end the corruption of our government by corporate monopoly interests and billionaires. Today’s ruling reaffirms, “Nothing in the state Constitution prohibits the use of advisory questions”
With Prop 49 headed back to the ballot, Californians are ready to take a stand on this vital political issue of our time.
“This decision allows California’s voters to tell the legislature and Congress that we need to overturn Citizens United and reclaim our democracy from wealthy and corporate interests,” said Ron Fein, Free Speech For People’s legal director.
Today, the California Supreme Court stood with ‘We The People’ by upholding our state’s long tradition of giving people the power to instruct our congressional members to act to rein in the influence of money in politics.
Sixteen states and more than 650 cities and towns across the country have called on their representatives to support this amendment. It’s time to add California to the list.
- Download the Press Release
- Download the Court’s Ruling
- Download the Amicus Brief
- October 2015 Hearing
- February 2015 Amicus Brief Filing