Judge rules California ride-hailing law is unconstitutional

An appeal could sent the issue to the California Supreme Court

Uber says it plans to appeal a California judge's ruling that struck down a state ballot measure that exempted app-based ride-hailing and delivery services from a state law requiring drivers to be classified as employees eligible for benefits and job protections.

Proposition 22 was unconstitutional, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled. 

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The measure was approved by voters in November.

Uber, Lyft and other services spent $200 million in support, making it the most expensive ballot measure in state history.

An appeal could send the issue to the California Supreme Court.

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"This ruling ignores the will of the overwhelming majority of California voters and defies both logic and the law," company spokesman Noah Edwardsen said. "You don’t have to take our word for it: California’s attorney general strongly defended Proposition 22’s constitutionality in this very case."

He said the measure will remain in force pending the appeal.

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The judge sided with three drivers and the Service Employees International Union in a lawsuit that argued the measure improperly removed the state Legislature’s ability to grant workers the right to access to the state workers’ compensation program.

Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the state if voters rejected the measure.

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The state Supreme Court initially declined to hear the case in February — mainly on procedural grounds — but left open the possibility of a lower court challenge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.