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Proposition 66 Update

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As reported on August 24, the California Supreme Court on that day upheld the death penalty reform initiative approved by the people in last November's election.  The court rejected every argument made by the opponents and their supporting amici (including a gaggle of law professors who dubbed themselves "Constitutional Law"), and most of the arguments were rejected unanimously.

On September 8, the petitioner filed a petition for rehearing (79).  The next business day, the court gave itself (80) until November 22 to consider it, postponing the finality of its decision.  Since the new effective date of Proposition 66 and the stay order previously entered are tied to finality, this effectively postpones the implementation of Proposition 66 an additional month.

I very much doubt that the main decision -- that Proposition 66 as a whole is valid -- is in any danger.  The court likely gave itself extra time to resolve some differences between the majority opinion and the concurrence (which is also joined by a bare majority of the court) regarding the weight to be given to the time limit sections.

There are, however, many parts of Proposition 66 that can and should be implemented immediately.  The removal of execution protocols from the Administrative Procedure Act, in particular, affects the consideration of the new protocol by the Office of Administrative Law as well as the validity of an injunction placed on executions by the Marin County Superior Court.  For these reasons, the campaign committee filed on Monday, along with its Answer to the Petition for Rehearing (81), a Motion to Vacate or Modify Stay (82).

The documents in the case are available here.  The numbers in parentheses above are the document numbers in this dropbox.

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