It was a day full of partisan bickering, political maneuvering, and threatened legal action. In short... the kind of day that's helped fuel the perception that California's statehouse is stuck in never-ending dysfunction.
And through all that, by day's end there still was no real clarity as to whether Abel Maldonado took a big step towards becoming the next lieutenant governor... lost the fight altogether... or is stuck somewhere in between.
Welcome, students, to Constitutional Law 101. Interpret the following passage from Article V of the California Constitution:
"In the event the nominee is neither confirmed nor refused confirmation by both the Senate and the Assembly within 90 days of the submission of the nomination, the nominee shall take office as if he or she had been confirmed by a majority of the Senate and Assembly."
What does it mean to be "refused confirmation"? Failing to get a majority of the house (in this case, the Assembly) to vote 'Yes'? Or having a majority of the chamber cast a 'No' vote?