California Initiative Process Defended by Pacific Justice Institute

Murrieta, CA – Pacific Justice Institute is defending California’s initiative process in a case in the Riverside Superior Court. Although the case relates to removal of the red-light camera system from the City of Murrieta, Pacific Justice Institute is defending the people’s fundamental right to place ballot initiatives before voters.

In this case two Murrieta residents, Diana Serafin and Robin Nielson, circulated petitions to have all red-light cameras removed. In September of 2011 they submitted the required number of signatures and the initiative was placed on the ballot for the November 2012 General Election. However, in June 2012, a local resident sued Serafin and Nielson, as well as the Clerk and City of Murrieta and Riverside County Registrar to prevent the initiative from appearing on the November 2012 ballot. “We immediately recognized the importance of this case and the threat to the initiative process and all Californian’s right to vote and propose laws,” said Brad Dacus, President of Pacific Justice Institute, “so we had one of our affiliate attorneys handle the matter.”

Pacific Justice Institute affiliate attorney, Pete Lepiscopo, is defending Serafin and Nielson. “This suit threatens California’s Constitution and the bedrock principle that the people not government hold all political power. The initiative process has been a check on government power for more than a century. This case is a clear and present danger to that power,” said Lepiscopo.

The case will be decided at a hearing scheduled for August 1, 2012, in the Riverside Superior Court. However, the case will most likely proceed through the court of appeal and California Supreme Court. “We anticipate that all three California courts will protect the people’s inherent right under the California Constitution by dismissing the case,” noted Dacus.