Date: October 12, 2021
Contact: Geoff Vetter (916) 634-9051
[email protected]

ICYMI: “It is now a battle about the future of the initiative in California”

Sacramento, CA – In a recent opinion piece citing the broad, unintended consequences of a seriously flawed Superior Court ruling upending Proposition 22, Anthony Caso, a clinical professor of law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law said the appeals court must uphold Prop 22 and defend the right of initiative.

He also had a message for California voters who value the ability to influence California’s policies and government: “If allowed to stand, the implications of this decision will be felt far beyond the gig economy.”

From the Op-Ed:

  • “To emphasize the people’s power to legislate, the constitution provides that the Legislature cannot amend an initiative statute unless the law passed by the people allows the Legislature to do so. Otherwise, the Legislature must receive permission from voters to amend an initiative statute. The California Supreme Court has noted that the judiciary has a special obligation to “jealously guard” the people’s right of initiative. That right is one of the most “precious” in the state’s democratic system.”
  • “None of that made a difference to the trial judge considering the attack on Proposition 22. The judge ruled that only the Legislature can determine who is an ‘employee’ because the Legislature had “plenary power” over the subject of workers compensation.”
  • “The problem with this logic, and this decision, is that the trial judge essentially decided that the California Constitution violates the California Constitution.”
  • “Faced with this conflict, the trial judge chose the power of the Legislature over the power of the people, even though the courts have long described the people’s initiative power as the same in every respect to the legislature’s ability to enact laws.”
  • “This case is no longer just a battle between the so-called “gig economy” and labor unions. It is now a battle about the future of the initiative in California. Will the initiative continue to be an important tool for the people to ensure that the Legislature represents them rather than special interests? Or will this cherished right, once jealously guarded by the judiciary, now become a relic of a bygone era?”
  • “All Californians who cherish the right to direct democracy should hope the appeals courts choose the former.”

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 59% 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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