Date: June 6, 2022
Contact: Molly Weedn (415) 209-4217
[email protected]

Former Fair Political Practice Commissioners, Constitutional Law Experts Join Civil Rights and Social Justice Advocates, App-Based Drivers, Former Elected Officials and Business Groups Urging Court of Appeal to Uphold Proposition 22

Experts File Friend-of-Court “Amicus” Briefs in Support of Prop 22; Hearing Expected Later This Summer

Sacramento, CA – Nearly a dozen civil rights and social justice organizations, business groups and app-based drivers joined constitutional law experts, former Fair Political Practice Commissioners, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Attorney General Dan Lungren in filing amicus curiae briefs urging the California Court of Appeal to uphold Proposition 22 and overturn an Alameda County Superior Court decision that would invalidate the measure. 

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

In September 2021, the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services (PADS) coalition joined the California Attorney General’s Office in appealing the flawed Alameda County Superior Court ruling that would overturn the will of California voters and invalidate Prop 22. 

Arguments in the amicus briefs include: 

California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law

“Resolving the issue here in the voters’ favor is consistent with judicial restraint, with the presumption of constitutionality, and with respect for the electorate’s powers. … Striking down the proposition partially invalidates the initiative power, which would violate the judicial duty to safeguard the initiative power and to liberally construe its use.”

Robert Stern, principal co-author of the Political Reform Act of 1974, and Dan Schnur and T. Anthony Quinn, former Fair Political Practices Commissioners

“The trial court’s unduly restrictive view of the single-subject rule would improperly undermine countless other measures like Proposition 9 or the Coastal Act that enacted sweeping reforms. … But only in the most extreme cases have our courts overturned the will of the people, and never because the measure was inconvenient for some economic interest group. For instance, and as set for the in more detail below the [Political Reform Act] was repeatedly attacked after its adoption by California’s voters, including on single-subject grounds and via proposed ‘amendments’ by the Legislature. In each instance the initiative was upheld and protected by the courts. …[T]he Court of Appeal should reverse and direct the trial court to vacate its order and enter a new order denying the writ petition in its entirety.”

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

“In this age of hyper-partisanship and gridlock, ballot initiatives empower the people to take back control and enact practical reforms.  The people did that in passing Proposition 22.  Whether or not one agrees with their decision, the will of the voters should be respected.”  

Former California Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren

The People of the State of California have chosen to govern themselves, in part, through the voter initiative power enshrined in the California Constitution. The California Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the primacy of that power and instructed California courts to resolve every reasonable doubt in its favor.  The trial court’s decision in this case does not comply with this instruction.  In fact, it does the opposite. The decision therefore should be reversed and the validity of Proposition 22 should be upheld.  Doing so will ensure that the sacred voter initiative process will remain at the center of California’s democracy.”

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches, National Action Network Chapters Sacramento and Los Angeles, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and others 

“Affirming the trial court’s decision would also have the harmful effect of reducing critically needed income-earning opportunities to workers using app-based platforms. To comply with the one-size-fits-all employee model app-based platforms would sharply reduce the number of workers they allow to use their platforms. That would shut off income-earning opportunities to many [and] would … reduce vital transportation, food, and delivery services in communities of color throughout the State.” 

Independent Drivers Alliance of California, including app-based drivers Kelly Rickert, Ali Mazhin and Stephanie Whitfield:

“Citing distorted anecdotes, Petitioners and lobby groups have incorrectly urged in this case and in campaigning against Proposition 22 that drivers in the gig industry are harmed by and unhappy with that ballot initiative. While Petitioners and those lobby groups may try to contend that the accounts and insights shared in this brief are anecdotal, that simply is not so. … [F]or the reasons explained by Appellants, Proposition 22 is constitutionally sound and legally valid. Therefore, Amici respectfully submit that this Court should reverse the Superior Court’s erroneous judgment, allow the will of the California electorate to be followed, and enable the benefits of Proposition 22 to be realized.”

United States Chamber of Commerce

“The Superior Court’s constitutional analysis appears to have been influenced by the Superior Court’s policy disagreement with Proposition 22. That reasoning was misguided.  To the extent public policy is relevant to the constitutional issues presented here, it is a basis to uphold Proposition 22, not to strike it down.”

California Chamber of Commerce

“For over a century, the People of California have exercised their constitutional authority to enact initiatives in diverse policy areas.  Both the Legislature and the judiciary have been consistently deferential to the People’s initiative power, affirming its broad and expansive sweep.  In November 2020, the People exercised their constitutional authority by approving — by a wide margin — Proposition 22… Petitioners-Appellees’ challenge to Prop 22 and the trial court’s invalidation of the measure represent a sharp break from established precedent and risk serious repercussions for voters’ longstanding initiative power.”

Marketplace Industry Association

…[T]his Court should defer to the legislative power of the people of the State of California, vacate the trial court’s judgment granting petitioner’s request for a writ of mandate, and affirm the constitutionality of Prop 22.”

Citizens in Charge, an advocacy organization committed to direct democracy

Affirming the trial court’s flawed ruling would undo much of the work of the last century and eviscerate the people’s ability to hold their representatives accountable. It would also flaunt decades of precedent urging courts ‘to jealously guard this right of the people’ and ‘preserve the use of an initiative if doubts can be reasonably resolved in its favor.’” 

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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