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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

It has become a popular political strategy in California to place counter-initiatives on the ballot with the intent of frustrating a reform movement. This practice has forced the courts to address the question of when two conflicting initiatives are passed by a majority of the voters, should the provisions of the two initiatives be combined or should the initiative that receives the greater number of votes entirely knock out the other initiative? In Taxpayers to Limit Campaign Spending v. Fair Political Practices Commission, the California Supreme Court attempted to simplify the task of interpreting the California Constitution to mean that only the initiative securing the higher number of votes could take effect. This Note argues that the California Supreme Court, by failing to give close judicial scrutiny to counter-initiatives, has further complicated the initiative process and given counter-initiative sponsors added incentive to qualify these measures.

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