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Reblogged:California's Prop 22: In Force, but in Trouble

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On Friday, a California state judge ruled that Proposition 22, which California's voters passed overwhelmingly last fall, was unconstitutional. Prop 22 essentially gutted AB-5 -- a union-backed measure the California legislature passed and Gavin Newsom signed into law -- that had effectively banned contract work there.

Most outlets are quoting the judge's bloviating to the effect that unions are a great thing, but the substance of the ruling shows up at Politico:
If the unions get their way, this will become a thing of the past. (Image by Griffin Wooldridge, via Unsplash, license.)
A California judge has struck down a 2020 tech industry ballot initiative exempting companies from treating app-dispatched workers as employees, saying it unconstitutionally limits the state Legislature's power.

Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch centered his ruling on a provision in Proposition 22 setting a 7/8ths threshold for the Legislature to amend the law. Opponents have asserted the bar is so high that it robs lawmakers of their constitutional authority -- an argument Roesch embraced.

That requirement "is unconstitutional because it limits the power of a future legislature to define app-based drivers as workers subject to workers' compensation law," Roesch wrote, and because that section is "not severable from the rest of the statute the court finds that the entirety of proposition 22 is unenforceable." [link omitted, bold added]
Proponents of the ruling plan to appeal and several news outlets have stated that the contest is likely to land in the California Supreme Court.

I am not an attorney, but... As contrary to the founding principles of this country as it is for a legislature to be able to override the right to contract and for a judge to complain about the government not having enough power over individuals, this looks like a serious problem in today's political and legal milieu.

In the meantime, Proposition 22 will remain in force while the legal battle goes on.

-- CAV

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