Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al. (8/7/14, S207173)
The Supreme Court of California has held that CEQA review was not required before the Sonora City Council adopted an initiative measure approving a specific plan for expansion of a Wal-Mart store. The court held that: (1) the Elections Code, which requires at most an abbreviated review, provides the exclusive process regarding voter initiatives, (2) the legislative body does not have to obtain full CEQA review before it can directly adopt a voter initiative, and (3) a full CEQA review would be incompatible with the requirements of the Elections Code. The court’s conclusion highlights the judiciary’s staunch protection of the initiative process.