California Supreme Court strikes down citizen’s ballot initiative at request of Newsom, Democrat lawmakers

Today, the California Supreme Court struck down a ballot initiative that would limit the government’s ability to raise taxes without public approval. In a nearly unprecedented move, California’s highest court – stacked with Democrat-appointed justices – sided with a group of Democrat lawmakers and Governor (Gavin) Newsom who requested they interfere in the ballot initiative process and remove the initiative, which would have limited their currently broad taxing power.

The measure, titled the “Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act,” collected more than one million signatures from Californians and was set to appear on the November 2024 ballot prior to today’s ruling. The ballot measure would have required the public to vote to approve any new taxes sought by the legislature or governor.

District 1 State Senator Brian Dahle.

“Today’s ruling is a slap in the face to California citizens as these partisan justices are not only interfering in the initiative process put in place to protect the people’s right to be heard in our democracy, but they’re doing it at the request of the very people who want to raise our taxes time and time again,” said Senator Brian Dahle.

State Senator Brian W. Jones.

“I’m disgusted. The court has failed in its duty to the people of California and our democratic system and instead simply caved to pressure from the governor and legislative Democrats,” said Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones . “The state’s highest court is supposed to be a nonpartisan, independent branch of government.

Democrat lawmakers and the governor retained private lawyers to fight on their behalf against this citizen’s initiative, spending tens of thousands on legal fees from already depleted state tax coffers currently estimated at $62 billion in the red.

“Using taxpayer dollars to fight taxpayer protections is a reprehensible maneuver that has no place in our democratic process,” said Dahle. “It’s truly a sad day for California when our leaders are using partisan politics and taxpayer dollars to strong-arm the courts to remove citizens’ initiatives from the ballot that they don’t like.”

Proponents of the TPA initiative are left with little hope for relief as any subsequent litigation on the issue would likely not be resolved by the June 27 deadline for initiatives to make the November ballot.

About Brian Dahle
Senator Brian Dahle represents California’s 1st Senate District, which contains all or portions of 15 counties, including Lassen, Alpine, El Dorado, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Siskiyou and Shasta. Also serving deferred areas of Tehama, Butte, Colusa, and Glenn counties. 

About Brian W. Jones
Senator Brian W. Jones represents the 40th Senate District which includes the cities of Escondido, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, San Diego communities of Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, Scripps Ranch, Sorrento Valley and University City, along with the San Diego County unincorporated communities of 4S Ranch, Alpine, Bonsall, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Pine Valley, Rainbow, Ramona, and Valley Center.