Yesterday, the California Supreme Court heard the case of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. v. Padilla, which involves the legality of the California Legislature’s attempt to place an “advisory” measure on the 2014 November ballot.  The Supreme Court previously, at the request of HJTA, removed Prop 49 from the 2014 ballot.  Today’s hearing is on the merits and will determine whether the measure will appear on the 2016 ballot.  (The measure would ask voters whether the U.S. congress shall propose, and the California Legislature ratify, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.–editor)

In lawyer-speak, it was a very active panel with the justices not only interrupting both attorneys repeatedly, but sometimes interrupting each other.  A number of justices acknowledged that, even if Prop 49 appeared on the ballot – presumably in 2016 – it would have no legal effect whatsoever.  However, the justices also seemed compelled to acknowledge the plenary power of the legislature.  HJTA’s attorney, Tom Hiltachk, noted that the attempt of the legislature to place a meaningless advisory measure on the ballot was itself neither a legislative act nor an exercise of any power ancillary to legislative power.

A ruling is expected within 90 days.