Appeals court rejects Schwarzenegger’s redistricting measure, keeps it off ballot
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A state appeals court on Tuesday refused to put Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attempt to change the redistricting process back on November’s special election ballot.The governor’s ballot initiative seeks to take away state lawmakers’ power to draw congressional and legislative boundaries in California and instead shift that responsibility to a panel of retired judges.Supporters submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, but they used two different versions of the wording during the certification process. That was a “clear violation of the constitutional and statutory procedures for the circulation of an initiative petition,” the 3rd District Court of Appeal wrote in its 2-1 decision.”The proponents caused the problem in this case by their own negligence in circulating a different version of the initiative measure than that submitted to the attorney general,” the majority ruling said.Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland dissented, saying the measure’s constitutional issues should be decided after the election.Schwarzenegger said the ruling “ignored the will of nearly one million Californians who signed petitions demanding redistricting reform.””Those voters knew they were signing petitions in support of reform and they deserve to get it,” he said in a statement.The Attorney General’s Office, which challenged the measure, said the requirement is designed to prevent initiative proponents from using “bait and switch tactics” to change ballot initiatives after they have been cleared to gather signatures.”This ruling is important for California voters because it protects the integrity of the initiative process,” Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in a statement.The measure’s supporters said the differences between the two versions were mainly “stylistic.” Daniel Kolkey, an attorney representing the measure’s supporters, said the decision would be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
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