The state Supreme Court denied a lawsuit Wednesday by the University of California Student Association (UCSA) and two civil rights groups that sought to block cuts made in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2004-05 budget proposal.
The court denied the suit without prejudice, with only one opinion from Justice Joyce L. Kennard in favor of hearing the case. The plaintiffs – UCSA, Californians for Justice and the Equal Justice Society – can still file a new lawsuit with a superior court.
“In order to get your case heard directly, you have to show that there is an immediate need,” UCSA Executive Director Liz Geyer said.
Before filing a new suit with a superior court, Geyer said, the organizations are seeking clarification from state attorney general’s office. Lawyers representing the groups sent a letter Monday to the attorney general’s office asking it to clarify whether the governor will unilaterally make the budget cuts he announced in December, or whether he intends to submit the cuts to the Legislature.
“For us, all that matters is the outcome: whether or not the governor made those cuts appropriately,” Geyer said.
UCSA, Californians for Justice, the Equal Justice Society and four UC students filed a lawsuit January in the California Supreme Court against Schwarzenegger and members of his administration, alleging the governor did not have the constitutional authority to reduce the vehicle licensing fee in December and refund its payments. State law prohibits the governor from reducing the fee unless there are sufficient monies in the General Fund to compensate cities and counties for the loss in revenue, the suit stated.