Constitutional Challenges to Prop. 13

Amador Valley Joint Union High School District

“The petitioner’s second equal protection claim was based on the two-thirds vote requirement for special taxes by local agencies, which resulted in an equal protection violation of those voting against Proposition 13. Id. at 233. The Court quickly dismissed this argument because petitioners relied on an earlier case, Westbrook v. Mihaly, 2 Cal. 3d 765 (1970) that was vacated. The Court emphasized that the equal protection clause would not be violated because people who vote in favor of tax measures cannot represent a definite, identifiable class. Id. at 237.”

So what if a “class” could be identified?  Since districts are pretty much gerrymandered in California, wouldn’t there be a clear geographic pattern separating one “class” from another, with liberal coastal districts voting for tax increases generally and more conservative inland districts voting against them?  The inland voters will have their votes weighted more heavily.  It seems to me that this violates the principle of one man, one vote as decided by SCOTUS.  Maybe it’s time to identify a “class” and give this another try, and take it all the way to SCOTUS.

“In various reapportionment cases decided by the Supreme Court in the 1960s, notably Wesberry v. Sanders, Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr, the court ruled that districts for the United States House of Representatives and for the legislative districts of both houses of state legislatures had to contain roughly equal populations.”,_one_vote


One Response to “Constitutional Challenges to Prop. 13”

  1. Some states are divided into voting precincts whereas others are divided into wards or districts. The Court had earlier applied this one-person one-vote principle to federal congressional districts requiring that all such districts be as nearly equal in population as practicable Wesberry v.

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