This is a casebook about the executive branch of state government in California. As with the other two branches of state government, the executive branch is set forth in the California Constitution, in Article V. There are also provisions of law related to the Executive Department contained in the California Government Code.
While much focus is naturally on the lawmaking and other activities of the legislative branch of state government, the executive branch plays numerous roles, particularly in light of the fact that California has nine statewide officials, often referred to as “constitutional officers.”
The purpose of this casebook is to examine the numerous roles of the Governor, as well as the activities of the remaining eight constitutional officers. There is a considerable amount of case law regarding the state’s chief executive, but only several other constitutional officers have appellate court decisions interpreting provisions of law applicable to those positions.
This casebook is intended to fill the void of the current lack of casebooks on California’s executive branch of government. Its purpose is to explain the roles, along with the duties and authority, that come with these nine offices. In addition, a number of appellate court decisions have enumerated those powers and duties and provide important explanation for students.
About the Author
Table of Cases
1. Overview of Article V of the California Constitution
2. Overview of California’s Executive Branch of Government
Brown v. Chiang
3. California State Officers and Honoraria and Gifts
4. Executive Branch Officials and the Revolving Door Limitation
II. The Chief Executive
5. Constitutional and Statutory Provisions Applicable to the Governor
Times-Mirror Company v. Superior Court of Sacramento County
6. Governor’s Executive Power
7. The Governor’s Different Roles
8. Governor’s Role in the Lawmaking Process
Harbor v. Deukmejian
9. Enrolled Bill Reports and Gubernatorial Action
10. Limits on Governor’s Powers
11. Presentation of Bills to the Governor
DeAsis v. Dept. of Motor Vehicles
12. Governor’s Actions on Bills
Parkinson v. Johnson
13. Bills Becoming Law Without the Governor’s Signature
14. What Were Reasons for Governor Newsom’s Bill Vetoes in 2021?
15. Governor’s Reorganization Plans
16. Gubernatorial Appointment
17. Nominations and Commissions by the Governor
18. Filling a Constitutional Office Vacancy
Lungren v. Deukmejian
19. Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
20. Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR)
21. Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
22. Governor’s Office of the Tribal Advisor
23. Governor’s Powers of Pardon, Reprieve, and Commutation
In re Rosenkrantz
In re Gilchrist
In re Fain
24. Governor’s Executive Orders – How Far Can They Go?
PECG v. Schwarzenegger
25. Governor’s Line-Item Veto Authority
St. John’s Well Child & Family Center v. Schwarzenegger
26. The Governor and the State Militia
27. What Is the Order of Precedence?
28. Commission on the Governorship
29. A Comparison of the President and Governor in the Lawmaking Process
III. The Other Constitutional Officers
30. The Lieutenant Governor
In re Petition of the Commission on the Governorship of California
31. The Secretary of State
AFSCME v. Eu
County of San Diego v. Bowen
32. The Controller
Gilb v. Chiang
Westly v. CalPERS
Steinberg v. Chiang
33. The Attorney General
Steen v. Appellate Division
People v. Deukmejian
People v. Honig
People v. Mikhail
34. The Treasurer
35. The Insurance Commissioner
36. The Superintendent of Public Instruction
37. The Board of Equalization
IV. Administrative Agencies
38. The Role of Administrative Agencies in State Government
39. California State Agencies
1. Constitutional Provisions
2. Statutory Provisions
VI. Index of Topics
Chris Micheli is a founding partner of the Sacramento governmental relations and advocacy firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. As a legislative advocate, Micheli frequently testifies before policy and fiscal committees of the California Legislature, as well as a number of administrative agencies, departments, boards, and commissions. He regularly drafts legislative and regulatory language and is considered a leading authority on state tax law developments, California's knife laws, and the state legislative process. The Wall Street Journal called him "one of the top three business tax lobbyists in the state" and the Los Angeles Times described him as an "elite lobbyist."
Over the last twenty years, he has published hundreds of articles and editorials in professional journals, newspapers, and trade magazines, whose diverse subjects range from tax incentives to transportation funding. He wrote a bi-monthly column on civil justice reform for five years for The Daily Recorder, Sacramento's daily legal newspaper. He has served on the editorial advisory board for CCH's State Income Tax Alert, a nationwide publication, as well as State Income Tax Monitor, another national newsletter, and Sacramento Lawyer, a monthly legal journal.
Micheli has been an attorney of record in several key cases, having argued before the Supreme Court of California (just two years out of law school), as well as the Court of Appeal several times. He has filed more than fifteen amicus curiae briefs in California courts and is admitted to practice law before all of the state and federal courts in the state.
He has published six peer-reviewed law review articles and is the co-editor and co-author of the book “A Practitioner’s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy in California,” as well as the author of “Understanding the California Legislative Process,” both published in 2020 by Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company. His most recently-published books released in 2021 are “Introduction to California Government” and “An Introduction to Legislative Drafting in California.” He is also the co-author of “Guide to Executive Branch Agency Rulemaking.” He also published two law school casebooks entitled “The California Legislature and Its Legislative Process – Cases and Materials” and “Cases and Materials on Direct Democracy in California.”
He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in Political Science – Public Service and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law with a J.D. degree. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at McGeorge where he co-teaches the course Lawmaking in California, as well as a Lecturer in Law at the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law where he co-teaches the course Legislative Drafting. He resides in Sacramento, California with his wife, Liza, two daughters, Morgan and Francesca, and son, Vincenzo.
The dearth of guidebooks on California’s executive branch of government is filled with this casebook. The serious practitioner needing to better understand the roles and responsibilities of the Governor and other constitutional officers in the executive branch should consult Chris Micheli’s Cases and Materials on California's Executive Branch of Government.
Adam J. Regale | Senior Policy Advocate
California Chamber of Commerce
Cases and Materials on California's Executive Branch of Government.is a very useful background reference about the roles of the constitutional officers of the executive branch, including specific offices housed directly in the Governor's office. There is useful information here even for veterans of the Capitol. One nugget is a summary of Governor Newsom's reasons for vetoing legislation. The fact that this large tome could be compiled primarily focusing on the Governorship and not on all the state agencies, departments and commissions, is testimony to the vastness and complexity of California state government. Perhaps Mr. Micheli, who is the preeminent chronicler of all things relating to California government, will do something about the rest of the executive branch in future books.
Robert W. Naylor
Robert W. Naylor Advocacy
Professor Micheli’s comprehensive analysis of California’s Executive branch should be a “go-to” source both for those studying California’s government and policy practitioners who hope to understand it’s complexities. While much media attention is given to the combat of the Legislative branch, and the interaction between the Governor and Legislature, much less is covered or understood about the consequential actions taking place in California’s vast bureaucracy. One need only know that the Governor himself spends most of his time on these issues to have a sense of its import. This volume provides the foundational understanding as to why. I highly commend it.
Former Legislative Affairs Secretary to California Gov. Gavin Newsom
In Cases and Materials on California's Executive Branch of Government, Chris Micheli hits the nail on the head describing the nature of the roles of all nine constitutional offices in California. Having previously served two California Governors and their administrations, I can tell you that no publication is more accurate and thorough in defining the important elements of the Chief Executive and his assembled team, and the important role they play. But Micheli reaches far beyond this, giving in-depth analyses of what is involved, and the impact these key leaders and players - and infrastructures - have on the people and systems across the state.
Micheli does an exceptional job outlining and defining the role of the Administrative Procedures Act with respect to regulations, rules and the processes therein within the Golden State. I have worked both within the State Capitol and key gubernatorial administrations as well as played the role as a leading business association executive in our state, and nothing is more important than understanding how the regulatory and administrative law apparatus works. Micheli is spot-on with his detailed but easy-to comprehend overview of this complex yet vital fabric.
I really enjoyed the essays and perspectives assembled and organized by Micheli in this wonderful and diverse collection. It's really helpful as a handbook for those inside and outside of California government to comprehend the day-to-day views and reviews of some of the most experienced governmental advocates in the Golden State, and Micheli outlines this with great precision, care and depth - but in an enjoyable and easy-to-read way. One cannot walk away from this collection without really appreciating all that is involved in the inner sanctum of the State Capitol and the key players that make this machine - and state policy - work.
John Kabateck | California State Director
National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)