Nicole E. Lucy

Document Type



The initiative Proposition 187 has been a catalyst for change. Supporters heralded it as the solution to "Save Our State" from the ills of illegal immigration. Those who opposed it, used Proposition 187 as a battle cry to mobilize a disenfranchised minority. Irrespective of ideology, Proposition 187 ended as no one could have predicted in November 1994 when it passed, 59% to 41%. When Governor Gray Davis inherited the Proposition 187 appeal from former Governor Pete Wilson, Governor Davis took the unprecedented step of seeking to resolve the conflict through mediation rather than actively defending Proposition 187 on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This Article will examine the possible impact mediation will have on the resolution of conflicts arising from initiatives. Part II discusses the initiative process and briefly discusses Proposition 187 and its appeal. Until recently, initiatives have been the cornerstone of grassroots organizations. Moneyed, anti-minority groups frequently sponsor present day initiatives. Part III explains mediation and its creative and beneficial attributes, and the impact mediation will have on the initiative process. Since the beginning of the Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") movement, mediation has been a unique, party-empowering alternative to litigation. Appellate mediation draws upon private mediation and trial court successes; however, a dangerous standard has begun with the mediation of Proposition 187 because of the numerous constitutional issues involved. Our society and courts need precedent to maintain stability of stare decisis and society's trust in the government, especially the judiciary.