Thursday, June 30, 2022

California Bus. & Indust. Alliance v. Becerra (Cal. Ct. App. - June 30, 2022)

Sometimes the best stuff is in the footnotes. Like in this opinion today by Justice Sanchez:

"We cannot help but note the irony inherent in the procedural posture of this lawsuit. Plaintiff, a private actor, insists that the Legislature has deprived the executive branch, including specifically the Attorney General, of the ability to exercise one of its core constitutional functions, by devolving those functions to private actors. To effectuate its argument, plaintiff sued the Attorney General, who, for his part, has argued vigorously that his powers are not being usurped. While we do not see the Attorney General’s present position as dispositive of the issue, we note at least one court has relied, at least in part, on the Attorney General taking a similar position to resolve a similar separation of powers issue. (National Paint & Coatings Assn. v. State of California (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 753, 764.)"

P.S. - When I first typed the caption of this case, I automatically typed the respondent as "Bonta" since he's California's Attorney General and it's the CAG who's being sued. I caught myself at the end and replaced it with Becerra since he's the nominal respondent in the caption. It's funny that even after all these years of reading daily appellate opinions, I hadn't noticed (until now) that California doesn't follow the substitution practice of federal courts, which automatically replace any old officeholder with the new one. Of course, it doesn't really matter either way -- the ultimate nature of the lawsuit is the same -- but it's interesting that the type systems apparently diverge on this point. (And that I hadn't noticed.)