Gov. Jerry Brown was allowed to move ahead with his ballot initiative to make certain nonviolent felons eligible for early parole, after the California Supreme Court late Friday temporarily stayed a lower court’s ruling blocking the measure.
Attorney General Kamala Harris immediately issued a title and summary for the initiative, allowing the measure’s proponents to collect signatures while the Supreme Court considers the case. The court ordered arguments filed by Monday afternoon.
The order Friday gave a temporary reprieve to an initiative with sweeping implications for the state’s criminal justice system. On Wednesday, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled the initiative was improperly filed as an amendment to a measure concerning juvenile justice.
At issue is how substantially the amendment changed the content of the initiative. Brown and juvenile justice groups supporting the initiative said they will not have enough time to circulate the measure for signatures if the lower court ruling is upheld. The California District Attorneys Association and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said in court that Brown’s measure, instead of being filed as an amendment, should go through its own review process.