San Diego, CA. – San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp has issued her Final ruling stating SDSU West will remain on the November ballot.
This follows her tentative ruling issued last week.
In her final, Trapp affirmed, “Because the court must defer to the electorate’s constitutional right to enact laws through the initiative process, must resolve doubts in favor of allowing the initiative power, an insufficient showing that this initiative is not a legislative act and lack of precedent to invalidate based on this set of facts, the court declines to exercise its discretion to review the validity at this stage. The City remains able to seek post-election review if the initiative passes.”
San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp has issued a tentative ruling against the City of San Diego and its petition to remove SDSU West from the November ballot.
Trapp’s tentative ruling will be argued in Superior Court Thursday.
In her ruling, Trapp noted reluctance to remove an initiative that’s legally qualified for the ballot. She wrote, “Indeed, we resolve doubts about the scope of the initiative power in its favor whenever possible and we narrowly construe provisions that would burden or limit the exercise of that power.”
In May, City Attorney Mara Elliott announced the city was suing both SDSU West and SoccerCity and asked Superior Court Judges to remove both measures because they infringe on the mayor and City Council’s authority.
Administrative v. Legislative
Attorneys have contended that SDSU West tries to force the sale of the property and is therefore an administrative act and not a legislative one. The thinking goes, initiatives may ONLY carry out legislative acts.
But Judge Trapp argues, “Administrative acts are those which are necessary to carry out the legislative policies and purposes already declared by the legislative body. (Fishman v. City of Palo Alto (1978) 86 Cal.App.3d 506, 509) The court is not aware of any legislative policy previously declared by the City as to this property.”
The Electorate’s Constitutional Right
In final, the court deferred to voters constitutional rights to enact laws through initiatives like SDSU West. Judge Trapp closed with this, “the court declines to exercise its discretion to review the validity at this stage. The City remains able to seek post-election review if the Initiative passes.”
The SoccerCity petition will go before a different judge next week.