An appellate court this afternoon put the brakes on attempts to place a judicially rewritten Prop 14 – the so-called open primary measure – on the June ballot.
The Third District Court of Appeal gave parties until Tuesday at noon to submit arguments as to why Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner’s recent edits (free reg. req.) of Prop. 14 should, or should not, stand.
The court is clearly in a hurry; the state printer has said his office needs the final language today to ensure that ballots can be published and sent to California voters around the globe. It’s unclear what the court-ordered delay will mean for those efforts.
A school workers union and legislative analyst Mac Taylor asked the appellate court to intervene after Sumner tweaked Prop. 14 on Friday. The California School Employees Association said Sumner’s rewrite left the measure with an overly flattering description – the ballot label reads "Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections." And Taylor doesn’t like Sumner’s summation that the measure’s fiscal impacts are unknown; the legislative analyst has concluded that it will likely have no significant costs.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, are big fans of Prop. 14, which would allow primary voters to choose candidates regardless of their political party affiliation.
The appellate court’s intervention doesn’t mean the justices will strike Sumner’s edits, but it does mean that “they’re at least contemplating some action,” CSEA attorney Deborah Caplan said.