Category: Uncategorized

Event announcement: Federalism Now conference

Event announcement: Federalism Now conference

FEDERALISM NOW UC Berkeley School of Law Friday 03 November 2017 9:00 to 5:30 Free admission, registration required. Click here to register! This full-day conference will bring together a diverse set of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to explore what federalism means now. In this era of shifting state and federal policy positions, what constraints and opportunities does federalism present? Can people of different views agree on rules and principles to guide us going forward? The day is divided between a framing panel and two topical panels, one focusing on federalism and environmental law (climate change, specifically) and the other focusing...

The U.S. Supreme Court Has Misinterpreted The Federal Arbitration Act

The U.S. Supreme Court Has Misinterpreted The Federal Arbitration Act

For parties aggrieved by another’s refusal to arbitrate under a written agreement, the Federal Arbitration Act grants the ability to petition any court of the United States for an order compelling the parties to arbitrate the dispute. The FAA applies where (absent the arbitration agreement) federal courts would have jurisdiction over the subject matter. This article will overview the evolution of modern arbitration agreements, explore the flaws in the current federal law approach to arbitration, and suggest needed reforms. The FAA The first modern arbitration statute was enacted in New York in 1920. That statute made enforceable all arbitration agreements...

Event announcement: SCOCA year in review, featuring Justice Cuéllar

Event announcement: SCOCA year in review, featuring Justice Cuéllar

The SCCBA Appellate Law Committee presents The CA Supreme Court: A Conversation With Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar Download the invite: 8.29.17 The CA Supreme Court AUGUST 29, 2017 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM SCCBA SEMINAR & CONFERENCE CENTER 31 NORTH SECOND STREET, 4TH FLOOR SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA 95113 REGISTER ONLINE ALSO OFFERED AS LIVE WEBCAST Please join us for a conversation with Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and a Review of Significant Decisions During the 2016-2017 Term SPEAKERS: Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, one of the newest Justices on the California Supreme Court. Justice Cuéllar is the former Stanley Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford...

Argument Preview: California Cannabis Coalition et al. v. City of Upland

Argument Preview: California Cannabis Coalition et al. v. City of Upland

The California constitution subjects tax increases proposed by a local government to vote at a general election, but does this requirement also apply to an initiative measure proposed by the people themselves? The particular provision of the California constitution at issue, Article XIIIC, section 2(b), added by Proposition 218 in 1996, does not indicate whether or not it also applies to initiative measures. The Court of Appeal decision[1] under review in this case found that this provision did not govern initiative measures. Therefore, under this reasoning, initiative measures do not need to be submitted to a vote at a general...

Lowering the Voting Age in California: Possible, But Not Without Problems

Lowering the Voting Age in California: Possible, But Not Without Problems

A proposed legislatively-referred amendment to the California constitution (Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10) would lower the voting age from 18 to 17 in California, if it passes the state legislature and is adopted by the electorate. This article considers whether a state has the power to set voting age requirements for its electors, and the effect of federal law. It concludes that California has legal authority to make this change, but there are potential conflicts with federal election law. Steps to Reform Several things need to happen for this proposal to take effect. First, both houses of the state legislature must...

Happy Trails, Justice Werdegar

Happy Trails, Justice Werdegar

Yesterday Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar announced her intent to retire from the California Supreme Court, effective August 31, 2017. We wish her a happy retirement.   Bob Egelko at the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a good overview of Justice Werdegar’s major contributions to the law. So instead of focusing on her substantive legal work, we looked at the effect this retirement will have in the broader context of gubernatorial appointments.   Since 1934, the only way to become a SCOCA justice is to be appointed by a governor and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments; after appointment, justices stand...

Federalism Is Your Friend

Federalism Is Your Friend

Federalism allows state courts to disagree with their federal counterparts. Some say that this principle of state sovereignty is now more important than ever. We say that, as a design feature intended to protect individual liberty, federalism is always important. Today we consider this question: “What can a state high court do when it disagrees with federal precedent?” The answer is always the same: rely on the state constitution as may be appropriate. Overview The federalist design of this country’s system for integrating fifty-one governments is based on the theory that dual sovereignty will better protect individual liberty by empowering...

CalExit: Good Luck With That

CalExit: Good Luck With That

This week some notice has come to a fringe theory that California could and should secede from the United States. We reject both propositions. States Have No Power to Secede The first problem California secessionists face is the absence of any authority for secession. There is no legal basis for a state to secede from the Union. Article 4, section 3 of the U.S. constitution has a procedure for adding new states or subdividing existing states—both require Congress to consent.[1] But there is no procedure, at all, in the federal constitution for a state to secede. And Article 3, section...

What Does California’s Experience with Recall of Judges Teach Us?

What Does California’s Experience with Recall of Judges Teach Us?

Recently there has been much public discussion about whether Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky should be recalled. We thought it would be useful to provide an overview of the facts about judicial recalls in California, their history, and the issues involved. This article takes no position on the merits question of whether Judge Persky should be recalled. The Issues Involved In general, the design of California’s judiciary is influenced by some competing policy alternatives, known as “value sets.” In a value set, favoring one alternative over another reflects a decision to advance a particular policy goal, and one...

Event announcement: SCOCA Historical Society book launch

Event announcement: SCOCA Historical Society book launch

The California Supreme Court Historical Society is hosting an event to celebrate the publication of Constitutional Governance and Judicial Power: The History of the California Supreme Court. The event is Tuesday 15 November, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Milton Marks Auditorium at 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco. 5:00 – 6:00 panel discussion with Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and former Chief Justice George 6:00 – 7:30 reception with drinks and snacks Click here to register!