Dec 21, 2010

Independents Applaud California Supreme Court Decision on Proposition 14

The following statement was issued today by Jackie Salit, President & Harry Kresky, Legal Counsel, IndependentVoting.Org:
The decision by the California Supreme Court to reject an attempt to block the implementation of Proposition 14, the open primary, top two initiative passed by voters last June, is a positive and timely development.
The voters made a clear statement in passing Proposition 14 that they wanted to dislodge the supreme power of the parties. Though the state’s third parties—which supported the legal challenge are critics of the two-party system and say they want to give voters more competition elections—in this situation they have sided with the two parties against competition.
We’re glad the court rejected their effort to undo the very sweeping changes that Proposition 14 will bring to the state’s electoral process and to the 3.5 million independent voters who have gained full equality under the law.
Jackie Salit is president of, a national association of independents with organization in 40 states. Harry Kresky is the country’s foremost legal advocate of independent voters and general counsel for

Proposition 14, the Top Two open primary referendum, was passed by California voters by 54% in June and takes effect in January 2011. Top Two allows 3.4 million California independents to vote in the primaries, a right they had been previously denied.

Chris Hinyub wrote about the effort to scuttle Prop 14 at the California Independent Voter Network website:
A coalition of minor-party candidates, including members of Socialist Action, the Reform Party and the Coffee Party, filed suit against Senate Bill 6, a measure which fleshed out the new voting rules. In September, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard upheld the new rules. The First District Court of Appeal then refused to issue an emergency writ overturning the Superior Court decision. Plaintiffs filed a back-up appeal while also calling on the State Supreme Court to step in and block implementation of the new SB 6 rules and the operation of Prop. 14 until SB 6 was amended. The state’s high court has now denied their Writ Petition.
For more on this topic, see The Hankster.


Dale Sheldon-Hess said...

Like its use in Louisiana and Washington, it will change little.

Maybe there'll be a good headline-grabbing, what-have-we-done race like "The Wizard v. The Lizard," but that's about it.

Sorry third-party supporters, but our princess is in another castle.

Gene Berkman said...

Jackie Salit is a long-time activist with the cultish New Alliance Party and should not be considered a spokesperson for Independent voters.

Proposition 14 threatens the survival of the alternative parties currently ballot qualified in California, and entrenches bipartisan dominance. It was sold to the voters as a means of ending party domination of elections, but it will have the opposite result, as the Democrats and Republicans choose a preferred candidate in a backroom, then present him (or her) as the "voter's choice."

richardwinger said...

Prop. 14 and its implementation are a massive setback for voting rights. It says write-in can't be counted in November; Peace & Freedom Party will be thrown off the ballot unless it gets its registration up from 58,000 to 101,000; members of unqualified parties can't have a party label on the primary ballot; increases the number of signatures in lieu of filing for statewide office for members of qualified minor parties from 150 to 10,000; and, worst of all, leaves the 4.5% of California voters who are members of minor parties with no members of their own party to vote for in November.