Date: April 9, 2024
Contact: Molly Weedn, (415) 209-4217
[email protected]

Constitutional Law Scholars, Former Fair Political Practices Commissioners, Civil Rights and Social Justice Advocates, Former Elected Officials, App-Based Drivers and Others Urge California Supreme Court to Uphold Proposition 22

Fifteen Friend-of-Court “Amicus” Briefs were filed with the California Supreme Court in Support of Prop 22

Last week, fifteen civil rights and social justice organizations, business groups and app-based drivers joined constitutional law experts, former Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) officials, former elected officials, economists, academics, and others in filing amicus curiae briefs urging the California Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 22.

In November 2020, nearly 60 percent of voters passed Prop 22, protecting the ability of app-based rideshare and delivery drivers to remain independent contractors while providing drivers with new benefits. The measure was supported by nearly 120,000 California app-based drivers and a diverse coalition of more than 140 groups and continues to be widely popular with drivers across the state.

In March 2023, the California Court of Appeal issued a historic victory by upholding the fundamental policy behind Prop 22 and protecting the will of voters. Shortly following that ruling, opponents appealed their case to the California Supreme Court.

Amicus briefs in support of Prop 22 were filed by:

  • Amicus Populi
  • California Chamber of Commerce 
  • Chamber of Progress, NetChoice, Asian Industry B2B and Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Citizens in Charge and the USC Initiative & Referendum Institute
  • Communities of Color Organizations, including the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, and National Action Network Los Angeles
  • Scholars from the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law
  • Crum & Forster
  • David R. Henderson and Other Economists and Academics
  • Former California Assemblymember William R. Berryhill
  • Former FPPC Officials
  • Former California State Senators Steve Peace and Tim Leslie
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
  • Independent Drivers Alliance of California 
  • Marketplace Industry Association
  • United States Chamber of Commerce

Arguments in the amicus briefs include: 

Scholars from the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law:

“The electorate’s initiative lawmaking power is a core element of California’s popular-sovereignty-based government. The Court of Appeal correctly held that neither this subject nor any other is withheld from the voters, who share with the legislature plenary power to act on this subject. This is because all political power resides in California’s people, and the initiative empowers the voters to override the legislature on any public policy matter. Accordingly, amicus argues for a ruling that validates the initiative power and affirms the Court of Appeal’s decision.”

The NAACP California Hawaii State Conference, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, National Action Network Los Angeles, National Action Network Sacramento Chapter Inc., and National Diversity Coalition: 

“Reversing the Court of Appeal’s decision would not only negate the votes of millions of Californians. It also would substantially weaken a key means through which amici—which advocate to advance the interests of minority communities and workers—seek to achieve their policy objectives through the ballot box, directly with voters.

Reversing the Court of Appeal’s decision also would reduce critically needed income-earning opportunities to workers using app-based platforms. Under the independent contractor model guaranteed by Proposition 22—which gives workers the freedom to choose when, where, and how to work—app-based platforms have provided valuable income-earning and entrepreneurial opportunities to workers of color.” 

Independent Drivers Alliance of California, representing hundreds of thousands of app-based rideshare and delivery drivers:

“Overturning the well-reasoned majority decision of the California Court of Appeal in this case presents a direct threat to the interests of the Alliance’s members. The Alliance, …(collectively, “Amici”), as well as the Alliance’s hundreds of other members, not to mention over 100,000 similarly situated drivers, greatly benefit from Proposition 22 and would be directly harmed if it were found to be unenforceable… 

Defendants, (…) incorrectly presume that voiding Proposition 22 will provide positive benefits to app-based drivers. In truth, if that sound ballot measure is invalidated, it will have a harmful impact on the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of app-based drivers.”

David Henderson, Research Fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and professor of economics at Naval Postgraduate School, and other economists and academics:

“If Proposition 22 were invalidated, that would not only overturn the democratic process—troubling in itself—but would also threaten to harm workers and the economy.”

A recent study shows that a ruling to overturn Proposition 22 would have devastating effects on the state’s economy and could cost California more than 1.3 million app-based jobs. 

About Protect App-Based Drivers & Services (PADS) Coalition

The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services (PADS) coalition, formerly the Yes on Prop 22 coalition, is continuing to engage to ensure the will of California voters is upheld; to protect access to independent, app-based jobs; and to preserve the availability, affordability and reliability of on-demand app-based rideshare and delivery services that are essential to Californians and our economy.

Proposition 22 was supported by 60% of California voters, 120,000 drivers, and a diverse coalition of more than 140 groups including social justice, senior, community, business, veterans and many others.

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