Holding California’s Attorney General Accountable

March 25, 24

The Liberty Justice Center and the Law Office of Nicole C. Pearson File Opening Trial Brief in “Protect Kids” Ballot Measure Case

Continuing the legal battle to hold elected officials accountable for violating state law, the Liberty Justice Center and the Law Office of Nicole C. Pearson, FACTS LAW TRUTH JUSTICE, have filed their opening trial brief in the case Protect Kids California v. Bonta.

The case, filed on behalf of Protect Kids California and Jonathan Zachreson, aims to hold California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta accountable for violating state law by providing a misleading and inaccurate title to a proposed ballot initiative—instead of a neutral title and summary as California law requires.

In September 2023, Protect Kids California submitted a proposed ballot initiative—presented as the “Protect Kids of California Act of 2024”—for California voters to consider this election. If passed, the ballot initiative would require schools to notify parents if their children socially transition, require students to use school facilities and participate in school activities that align with their sex at birth, and ban sex-change surgeries and drugs for children under age eighteen.

As part of his duties as Attorney General, Rob Bonta was required to provide a neutral and accurate title and summary for the initiative. Instead, he prepared a biased, misleading title and summary that has prejudiced the initiative—rebranding it the “Restricts Rights of Transgender Youth Initiative.” Protect Kids California argues that the title and summary mislead voters and mischaracterize the ballot initiative’s intent and impact.

The Liberty Justice Center and the Law Office of Nicole C. Pearson argue in their petition that Bonta has a duty as Attorney General to provide Californians with a neutral title and summary for ballot initiatives, regardless of his personal political beliefs.

“Government officials cannot use the power voters have entrusted them with to censor and shame those they disagree with,” said Emily Rae, Senior Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center. “We are proud to stand against this threat to Californians’ core political speech and Attorney General Bonta’s blatant misuse of power for political purposes.”

“California’s constitution grants initiative power to the people, but Bonta’s biased and prejudicial title and summary attempts to eviscerate that power. We cannot permit this government overreach,” said Erin Friday, Esq., of Protect Kids California.

The case will proceed to trial on April 19.

The legal filings in Protect Kids California v. Bonta are available here.