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California Proposition 32, Appeals to the California Supreme Court (1984)

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California Proposition 32 was on the November 6, 1984 statewide general election ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

Proposition 32 changed the way the California Supreme Court hears decisions of the California courts of appeal. Proposition 32 required the state's Judicial Council to establish procedures for the California Supreme Court to:

  • Review all or part of a lower court's decision, thereby allowing the court to review only some issues in a case, rather than reviewing the entire case.
  • Decide not to hear a case which it had originally chosen to hear.
  • Transfer cases from one court to another.

Proposition 32, however, specifically exempted appeals relating to the death penalty. This exemption meant that state's high court continued to be responsible for hearing death penalty appeals, and it could not transfer these cases to a court of appeal for review.

Election results

Proposition 31
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 4,775,255 59.3%
No3,280,27640.7%

Constitutional changes

California Constitution
Flag of California.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVI
VIIVIIIIXXXA
XBXIXIIXIIIXIII A
XIII BXIII CXIII DXIVXVXVIXVIIIXIXXIX AXIX BXIX C
XXXXIXXII
XXXIVXXXV

Proposition 32 amended Section 12 of Article VI of the California Constitution as follows, with new text in italics and deleted text stricken out.

Sec. Sec. 12. (a) The Supreme Court may, before decision becomes final, transfer to itself a cause in a court of appeal. It may, before decision, transfer a cause from itself to a court of appeal or from one court of appeal or division to another. The court to which a cause is transferred has jurisdiction.
(b) The Supreme Court may review the decision of a court of appeal in any cause.
(c) The judicial Council shall provide, by rules of court, for the time and procedure for transfer and for review, including, among other things, provisions for the time and procedure for transfer with instructions, for review of all or part of a decision, and for remand as improvidently granted.
(d) This section shall not apply to an appeal involving a judgement death.

Ballot summary

Proposition 32's official ballot summary said, "Adds a provision that the Supreme Court may review part and not necessarily all of a court of appeal decision. Requires the Judicial Council to provide rules governing the time and procedure for transfer and for review, including, among other things, provisions for the time and procedure for transfer with instructions, for review of all or part of a decision, and for remand as improvidently granted. Provides that this constitutional amendment shall not apply to an appeal involving a judgment of death. Summary of Legislative Analyst's estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact: This measure would have no significant effect on either costs or revenues at the state or local level."

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

"This measure would have no significant effect on either costs or revenues at the state or local level.
By permitting the Supreme Court to reduce the number of issues it reviews in any given case, this measure could increase the court's flexibility in managing its workload. It is unlikely, however, that this measure would result in savings to the court, because the court currently is able to manage its workload. It does so by selecting the cases it will review, and the number of cases it chooses to review is much lower than the number it is requested to review. While this measure probably would have no fiscal impact on the Supreme Court, it could help the court to: (1) decide cases more quickly, (2) hear more cases, or (3) spend more time reviewing selected issues.
The Judicial Council would incur insignificant costs in adopting the rules that the measure requires it to adopt."

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 23 on the ballot via Senate Constitutional Amendment 29 (Statutes of 1984, Resolution Chapter 64).

External links