November 10, 2016
Proposition 66, the speed-up-the-death-penalty initiative (see, most recently, here), is currently on track for approval, leading by about 150,000 votes and 1.8 percentage points. Yesterday, the day after the election, two opponents of the initiative — former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp and former death penalty supporter Ron Briggs — petitioned the Supreme Court to invalidate the law.
The petition argues Proposition 66 improperly interferes with the habeas corpus jurisdiction of California’s courts, it violates the separation of powers doctrine, and it violates the state constitution’s single-subject rule. The petitioners ask the Supreme Court to stay certification and enforcement of the proposition until there is a determination whether the new law can stand. Sacramento’s District Attorney calls the petition “frivolous.”
Just a guess, but, because it’s not yet certain that Proposition 66 has passed, and because the Secretary of State has until December 16 to certify the election results, the Supreme Court might stay enforcement of the law and put the case on hold until the final vote is certified next month. If the proposition does officially pass, look for the court to issue an order to show cause, meaning the court will decide the writ petition on its merits after full briefing and an oral argument.
[November 16 update: Judicial Council members Cantil-Sakauye and Chin recused from Prop. 66 challenge.]
[November 17 update: Temporary stay temporarily denied in Prop. 66 challenge case.]