[EM] Initiatives

Charles Fiterman cef at geodesic.com
Fri Nov 6 11:47:00 PST 1998

At 02:31 PM 11/6/98 -0500, you wrote:
>    To rephrase the question, does any court have the power to rule an INITIATIVE
>unconstitutional BEFORE it is placed on the ballot and passed by a majority?
>    This is about local issues not US.

No. It has to be law or its moot. Courts never take any legislation that
isn't there yet no matter who wrote it. And someone must bring the matter
to the court.

I'm very much in favor of citizen initiatives but they do have
a tendency to ignore the constitution. Writing sound law is
a skill and legislatures have practice at it. They also have
a tendency to serve their own interests rather than the public's
and they ignore very controversial issues. They are called
third rail issues, touch them and you are dead.

Someone has to touch third rail issues, if they weren't a 
problem they wouldn't be third rail issues. And someone
must step in where the legislature is serving itself at
the expense of the public. For example if anything is ever
done about gerrymandering it will be the people directly.
But when things are done that way other problems arise.

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