Election 2008

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Constitutional Amendments Have Plenty of Company on California Ballot

July 30, 2008 08:04 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
With more than 500 amendments to its state constitution already in place, California looks to add more to the list.

30-Second Summary

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Californians have voted on 55 constitutional amendments during the past 10 years, and will vote on more proposed amendments in 2008.

Passing an amendment only requires a majority vote in California, which means amending the state’s constitution “is often more a political question than a legal one,” writes the San Francisco Chronicle.

“We have one of the most unruly constitutions in the world,” stated Joel Fox, a former aid to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “So we make a habit of amending it more often.”

California’s state constitution is more than 10 times longer than the United States Constitution (which only has 27 amendments).

Of the proposed amendments on California’s 2008 voter ballot, two in particular have attracted considerable attention.

Proposition 1 is a bond measure to help fund a high-speed train between Northern and Southern California. Proposition 8 seeks to ban same-sex marriage.

Other propositions on California’s ballot concern teen abortion and shifting legislative district lines.

Headline Link: ‘State loves to change the law of the land’

Related Topic: Noteworthy propositions on California’s 2008 ballot

Historical Context: California’s first state constitution

Reference: State constitution facts

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