The UCL Practitioner
Friday, February 04, 2005
"Save Proposition 64"
A couple of weeks ago (on January 10), the Bakersfield Californian had an editorial (free registration required) that starts out by extolling the virtues of Proposition 64 but ends by saying,
[N]ow such corporate interests as Chrysler, Albertsons, Anheuser-Busch, Cingular Wireless and others want the eased provisions to apply to more than 50 major consumer and public health cases filed prior to the initiative's passage. .... Proposition 64 has no retroactive provision and sponsors said during the campaign that it was not retroactive. ... [T]hose cases are different in scope and kind than the so-called 'shakedown' suits that led to the proposition. The state Supreme Court must clarify for lower courts throughout the state that the clear intent of the proposition applies to cases filed after the proposition passed.
It's interesting that even such a conservative paper as the Californian thinks the retroactivity argument amounts to overreaching. The drafters easily could have included express retroactivity language, but purposely chose not to do so for reasons of political expediency. They should be required to live with that decision. Perhaps the First District was recognizing as much when it declined to "exploit the voters' silence on the question of retroactivity." Californians for Disability Rights v. Mervyns, LLC, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Feb. 1, 2005) (slip op. at 5).
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