Editorial: Brown’s Supreme Court win on prison measure no victory

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The California Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily stay a lower court’s ruling and allow Gov. Jerry Brown to proceed with signature-gathering for a ballot measure making some nonviolent felons eligible for early parole may seem defensible if you share Brown’s view — as we do — about the urgent need to relieve prison overcrowding this year via a vote of the public. But given the history of abuses of direct democracy in California, the court’s decision is troubling and his victory is a loss for the state.


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Two days before the high court stepped in, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang had blocked signature-gathering on the grounds that Attorney General Kamala Harris broke a 2014 state law when she allowed Brown to radically revise a previously proposed initiative addressing juvenile justice to avoid the time-consuming hassle of launching a new initiative and seeking public comment.



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