I will admit I am surprised by this development. Attempts to dismiss the lawsuits against Proposition 71 were denied by the trial judge, paving the way for a formal trial on the issues. An attempt by opponents to win without a trial was also denied. This means that the judge did not find, as a matter of law, that the contested parts of the initiative are either acceptable or unconstitutional. Now, these decisions will be based on factual evidence presented at trial in open court, rather on pleadings and statutory interpretation.
The San Francisco Chronicle played the story as if it were a big victory for Proposition 71, focusing almost exclusively on the court’s refusal to grant an immediate victory to the opponents. But the San Jose Mercury News seems to have the better angle, noting more clearly that the case remains essentially undecided.
The case is going forward. That is a huge victory for the opponents of the initiative. They may lose the war, but the refusal to dismiss indicates to me that the judge does not see their case as frivolous.