Precedents in California Legislation, and Current Legislative News

legislative newsIf you’re doing law research in California, you might come across this interesting legislative gem: in Los Angeles County, you can only throw a frisbee when you have the permission of the lifeguard. Like any state, California has many strange laws and rules on record. California legislative history is complex, dating back to 1850, when the state became the 31st member of the union.

Some Interesting Precedents You Might Come Across in California Legislative History Research

  • 1946 — Empire Star Mines v. California Employment Commission. This court decision made clear that the most important factor for determining independent contracting (versus being an employee) is whether you can control the means and manner by which the work is completed.
  • 1973 — Miller v. California. This case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court established the “Miller test” of deciding whether material fell under the obscenity rule. The ruling ultimately redefined the obscenity rule from one of “lacking socially redeeming value” to “lacking literary, political, artistic, or scientific value.”
  • 1931 — Stromberg v. California. This U.S. Supreme Court ruling found that a California statute banning red (communist) flags was not valid under the constitution, since it violated both first and 14th Amendment rights.

Important Legislative News in California Right Now

  • Both houses of the California legislature have approved a new $687 million drought relief plan, that includes funding for water conservation and recycling projects, and providing assistance to people in drought-stricken areas.
  • Proposed legislation called Imitation Firearms Safety Act is underway, which asks for fake guns to be brightly colored. Much of the impetus for the legislation stems from a tragic incident in which 13-year-old Andy Lopez was fatally shot after police officers saw him walking with a fake AK-style gun.
  • A new bill proposed by Senator Lou Correa (D) will streamline the firing process for teachers in the state. The bill is backed by the California School Boards Association.

Are you interested in California legislative news? Let us know in the comments what you’ve heard about the latest courtroom decisions.

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