The California Supreme Court could be requested to rule on the constitutionality of the state’s ballot initiative process. It’s highly unlikely, but if the court were to rule that the process is unconstitutional, all ballot initiatives adopted over the last 100 years could be declared invalid, including the 2008 ballot initiative on animal housing, Proposition 2, better known as “Prop 2.” Prop 2 requires that all farm animals in California, “for all or the majority of any day,” not be confined or tethered in a manner that prevents them from lying down, standing up, turning around or fully extending their limbs without touching another animal or an enclosure such as a cage or stall.
The potential ruling relates to an appeal to the 9th U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by parties supporting the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage, Proposition 8 or “Prop 8.” A district court judge in San Francisco, Calif., ruled in August that the Prop 8 ban violates the U.S. Constitution. Subsequently, ban proponents appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit. An appellate attorney has submitted an amicus curiae brief to the circuit proposing that the ballot initiative process, adopted 99 years ago, was established improperly.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit will hear arguments on the issue during the first week of December.