Latent Ambiguity Legal Definition
"A latent ambiguity is said to exist where the language employed is clear and intelligible and suggests but a single meaning, but some extrinsic evidence creates a necessity for interpretation or a choice among two or more possible meanings. . . ." ( Mosk v. Superior Court (1979) 25 Cal. 3d 474, 495, fn. 18 [159 Cal. Rptr. 494, 601 P.2d 1030].)
In applying this concept of latent ambiguity, however, we must temper our analysis with the ever-present understanding that the will of the people as expressed in the plain meaning of the constitutional provision is paramount.
Our duty is not to twist words to substitute our own judgment for that of the voters; it is to determine and apply the intent of the people (in the case of a constitutional provision adopted by initiative).
With extremely rare exceptions as noted in Supreme Court precedent (see id. at p. 495), that intent will be found in the plain meaning of the constitutional provision.