Rudy Klapper


Californians have always cherished the idea that ultimate political power lies in the people, an idea best represented by the state’s hugely influential initiative process. Today, however, that initiative power threatens to spiral out of control, thanks in large part to the California Supreme Court’s inability to construe appropriate limits on it. This has created an unbalanced government where the rights of minorities are easily circumscribed and the financial and political infrastructure of the state is in danger of buckling under the combined weight of dozens of initiatives. This Article argues that the judiciary’s haphazard interpretation of various rules and regulations regarding the initiative has created a situation where the necessary checks and balances in a republican system are in danger of being subverted. Furthermore, this Article proposes stricter standards for the initiative process and encourages the court to turn a more discerning eye onto the wave of initiatives generated each year. Embracing a more stringent initiative will preserve the importance of the people’s power while still safeguarding the rights of all who call California home.