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30 UCLA L. Rev. 936 (1982-1983)
California Initiatives and the Single-Subject Rule

handle is hein.journals/uclalr30 and id is 958 raw text is: CALIFORNIA INITIATIVES AND THE
Daniel H. Lowenstein*
In 1948 the California Constitution was amended to limit ini-
tiatives to a single subject.' In Perry v. Jordan,2 decided the fol-
lowing year, the California Supreme Court held that the initiative
single-subject rule would be construed identically to a similar pro-
vision that had long applied to acts of the legislature.3 Accord-
ingly, the single-subject rule was to be construed liberally to
uphold proper legislation, all parts of which are reasonably ger-
mane.''4 However, in Schmitz v. Younger,' a 1978 decision in
which the majority declined to reach the merits of the single-sub-
ject issue, the late Justice Wiley Manuel dissented and urged a
stricter construction of the single-subject rule, requiring that the
provisions of an initiative be functionally related in furtherance
* Acting Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles. A.B., Yale
College, 1964; LL.B., Harvard Law School, 1967. Neil Berger, a UCLA law student,
provided valuable research assistance. I received helpful comments from several of
my colleagues, including Harold Bruff, James Krier, Stephen Munzer, and William
The author served as one of several attorneys of record for the petitioner in one
of the California Supreme Court's single-subject decisions, Fair Political Practices
Commission v. Superior Court, 25 Cal. 3d 33, 599 P.2d 46, 157 Cal. Rptr. 855 (1979).
An earlier version of this Article was presented at the annual meeting of the
American Political Science Association on September 2, 1982. The Attorney General
of California provided a copy of that paper to the California Supreme Court prior to
the decision in Brosnahan v. Brown, which was issued on the same date as my paper
was presented, September 2, 1982. Appendix to Respondent's Reply to Briefs of Peti-
tioners and Amici, Brosnahan v. Brown, 32 Cal. 3d 236, 651 P.2d 274, 186 Cal. Rptr.
30 (1982).
1. The single-subject requirement presently is contained in CAL. CONST. art. II,
§ 8(d). It was enacted in 1948 as art. IV, § 1(c), was rewritten and renumbered as art.
IV, § 22(d) in 1966, and was renumbered as art. II, § 8(d) in 1976. See infra notes
69-72 and accompanying text.
2. 34 Cal. 2d 87, 207 P.2d 47 (1949).
3. CAL. CoNST. art. IV, § 9. At the time Perry was decided, the legislative sin-
gle-subject rule was contained in art. IV, § 24.
4. 34 Cal. 2d at 92, 207 P.2d at 50 (quoting Evans v. Superior Court, 215 Cal.
58, 62, 8 P.2d 467, 469 (1932)).
5. 21 Cal. 3d 90, 577 P.2d 652, 145 Cal. Rptr. 517 (1978).

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