Thursday | August 07, 2003
California Supremes expected to rule on recall
The California Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether it will hear several legal challenges against the recall effort.
Still at issue is whether the ballot must include a successor election. Remember this issue? It's clearly not dead.
The Supreme Court's private conference Wednesday was in response to a variety of petitions filed last week challenging aspects of the recall. Legal experts say the one that may have the most merit would have the court declare that Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante will automatically take over if Davis is recalled.The relevant clause is as follows:
SEC. 15. (a) An election to determine whether to recall an officer and, if appropriate, to elect a successor shall be called by the Governor and held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from the date of certification of sufficient signatures.The key words are "if appropriate", suggesting the successor ballot is optional.
When ruling on such matters, the courts tend to look to legislative intent -- what the law's drafters intended to accomplish with the law. And on that score:
former lawmaker Barry Keene, who authored a key amendment to the recall law, said the court should prohibit successor candidates from the ballot.Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
Update: From the "good point" department, CADem writes the following in the comments:
The "if appropriate" provision relates to the election being called, not the result. Within a certain period after sufficient valid signatures on petitions are submitted, "[a]n election to determine whether to recall an officer and, if appropriate, to elect a successor shall be called . . . ." Cal. Const., Art. II, section 15.Posted August 07, 2003 08:41 AM