Popular Sovereignty and Its Limits: Lessons for a Constitutional Convention in California

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Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol: 44, Issue: 2, Page: 623

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Grodin, Joseph R.
article description
California’s pressing structural problems require changes to the California Constitution that may be difficult to accomplish through the current constitution’s three stated means of reform. In response, coalition reform groups, such as Repair California, have proposed amending the constitution to authorize the calling of a constitutional convention through an initiative measure. This Article focuses on the state, constitutional, and procedural issues that may arise from such a change. Through an analysis of the relevant California Supreme Court decisions since 1911, this Article concludes that there is indeed a principled basis for sustaining the constitutional validity of an initiative measure amending the constitution to permit a constitutional convention called by the people, for authorizing a different method of selecting convention delegates, and for allowing such an initiative to limit the convention’s scope to certain specified subjects.