The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court can see the mess in front of his face just as everybody else can:
California Chief Justice Ronald M. George, in a speech prepared for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, said the ease by which Californians can pass new laws at the ballot box has “rendered our state government dysfunctional.”
George noted that in November, voters passed initiatives to regulate the confinement of fowl in coops and passed Proposition 8, which overturned part of a California Supreme Court ruling that gave gays and lesbians the right to marry.
“Chickens gained valuable rights in California on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them,” George said.
He focuses on the initiative system, perhaps because it pushed him from a champion of civil rights, in the original marriage decision, to a judge who stood in the way of fundamental rights. You can’t blame him for singling the initiative process out, and it’s hard to argue that the initiative system has ever lived up to the dreams that Hiram Johnson had for it. But, as we know, there’s far more wrong with the system than just the initiative process.