Yesterday, the California Legislature petitioned the California Supreme Court, asking that they modify their January 4 ruling in the case of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Padilla, by restoring Proposition 49, The Overturn Citizens United Act, back to the ballot to let Californians instruct Congress and the Legislature to pass and ratify a constitutional amendment that would limit campaign spending and establish that only human beings (and not corporations) enjoy constitutional rights.

Last fall, the Court temporarily removed the measure from the 2014 ballot after a lawsuit filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. In their 6-1 ruling, the Court acknowledged the rightful place of Proposition 49 on the ballot, however it did not immediately restore the question to vote. The Court punted the issue to the California Legislature, expecting it to pass a new law to put a new question forward on the ballot. The Legislature has requested that the Court revisit the case and  determine whether Proposition 49 will return to the November 2016 ballot.

On Tuesday, January 19th, a letter was submitted on behalf of Amici Free Speech For People, Money Out Voters In (MOVI), California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), California Common Cause, California Clean Money Campaign, and Courage Campaign in support of the Petition for Rehearing to be filed by the Legislature in the case of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Padilla. The Petition seeks to modify and clarify a portion of the Court’s opinion that, by deeming the controversy “moot”, effectively requires the Legislature to pass another statute to place the advisory measure that was the subject of SB 1272, Proposition 49, back on the ballot.

The California Legislature supports the Court’s decision on the merits of Proposition 49’s constitutionality, however it takes issue with the portion of the Court’s decision that suggests—because it is no longer possible for the Secretary of State to place Proposition 49 on the November 2014 general election ballot—the Legislature must enact a new measure in order to have Proposition appear on the next general election ballot in November 2016.

Respondent Secretary of State Padilla has announced that “it is my hope that the Legislature takes action to place the measure on the ballot in 2016,” thereby indicating that he believes further legislative action is required before he can or will place Proposition 49 on the November 2016 ballot.

Our letter to the California Supreme Court details the arduous and lengthy process of placing Proposition 49 on the ballot, and the efforts of the MOVI coalition to convince the Legislature to give Californians an opportunity to vote on the matter. The full text of our letter is available here.