The power to describe what a ballot proposition does

State attorneys general aggressively use, and frequently misuse, the legal authority often vested in them to sum up in language for voters what a ballot measure would do or mean. One chronic area of frustration: AG summaries of measures intended to bring California public pensions under better fiscal control [Judy Lin, L.A. Times via Steve Greenhut, California Policy Center]

One Comment

  • Aside from the partisanship of California Secretaries of State, a problem is posed by the ambiguity of “Constitution”: are you talking about the Federal one where “rights” matter (eg freedom of speech and religion, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, due process, etc), or about the State one, where rights not already covered by the Federal one may be questionable?

    One could require ballot summaries to use the phrase “State Constitution” when that is what is meant. It should also be possible to get Federal judicial review when a questionable assertion about the Federal Constitution is made