The proponent of a referendum has 21 days to begin the examination of the disqualified signatures. After examining the signatures alleged as invalid, the proponent can then file a lawsuit in order to have a court independently review the petitions. The challenged law will not go into effect while judicial review is pending.
This may be frustrating for some. Several justices of the Supreme Court explained as follows: “[t]he referendum process. . . is necessarily a disruptive, undeferential procedure by which the people halt in their tracks the operation of duly enacted statutes. Nonetheless, the Constitution guarantees that the people’s voice shall be both heard and obeyed. It clearly mandates the stay to preserve the effect of the people’s will. Any attempt to circumvent such a stay…necessarily frustrates and defies the sovereign people." Assembly of State of Cal. v. Deukmejian.
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