SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California officials are appealing a federal judge's ruling that said two laws enacted by voters are unconstitutional because they increase the punishment for crimes committed before the laws took effect.

The state attorney general's office filed a one-paragraph notice Thursday asking the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn last month's ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton of Sacramento.

Karlton ruled that the so-called "Victims' Bill of Rights" and another law that allows the governor to reverse approved paroles cannot be enforced.

Both were created through the initiative process.

Voters approved Proposition 9 in 2008, requiring longer periods of time between parole hearings.

The judge said governors have abused their power to block paroles, which voters gave them when they approved Proposition 89 in 1988.


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