Washington Law Review


In American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations v. Eu (AFL-CIO), the California Supreme Court removed a proposed initiative from the ballot prior to the election. The proposed initiative would have compelled the California legislature to apply.to Congress for a limited constitutional convention. The court recognized a general rule against pre-election review of initiatives, but nevertheless found pre-election review appropriate under an exception to the rule. The exception invoked in AFL-CIO allows pre-election review where the challenger alleges that the proposed measure is "beyond the power of the people to enact." This Note analyzes the AFL-CIO court's exercise of pre-election review, and considers the role of pre-election review in promoting effective use of the initiative process. Part I reviews the factual context of AFL-CIO and describes the court's opinion. Part II first analyzes the weaknesses of the AFL-CIO court's conception of pre-election review as an exception to the rule. It then considers how pre-election judicial review can benefit the initiative process by counteracting procedural weaknesses and protecting against substantively invalid measures. The Note recommends overt abolition of the rule inhibiting pre-election review and acceptance of preelection review as the convention.

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