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CA Supreme Court Upholds CA Redistricting Senate Map

CA Supreme Court Upholds CA Redistricting Senate Map

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Published by John Myers
Here's the ruling from the state Supreme Court on Friday to allow the citizens panel's Senate maps to be used, even if only on an interim basis.
Here's the ruling from the state Supreme Court on Friday to allow the citizens panel's Senate maps to be used, even if only on an interim basis.

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Published by: John Myers on Jan 27, 2012
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01/27/2012

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1
Filed 1/27/12
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA
 
JULIE VANDERMOST, ))Petitioner, ))v. ))DEBRA BOWEN, )as Secretary of State, etc., ) S198387)Respondent; ))CITIZENS REDISTRICTING )COMMISSION, ))Intervener. )___________________________________ )On December 9, 2011, we issued an order to show cause in this matter to consideran election-related question that must be addressed expeditiously to avoid potentialdisruption of the statewide primary and general elections to be held in June andNovember 2012. A proposed referendum (designated No. 1499), for which petitionsignatures have been gathered and submitted to election officials, would require theelectorate to decide, at the November 2012 general election, whether to accept or rejectthe California state Senate district map that has been certified by the CitizensRedistricting Commission (Commission).
1
The Commission, a new constitutional entity
1
Under the California Constitution, the referendum power refers to the authority of the people to require that a statute that has been adopted by the Legislature, or aredistricting map that has been certified by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, be
(
Footnote continued on following page
)
 
2recently established by the voters to draw voting district boundaries (instead of theLegislature)
2
in light of population changes identified in the national census undertakenat the beginning of each decade, completed its eight-month-long task in August 2011 andcertified new voting district maps for not only the state Senate, but also for the stateAssembly, the United States Congress, and the State Board of Equalization. TheSecretary of State and county election officials have been using these four Commission-certified maps since mid-August 2011 in preparation for the upcoming June andNovember 2012 elections.County election officials and the Secretary of State currently also are in theprocess of verifying the petitions submitted to determine whether there are sufficientvalid signatures to qualify the proposed referendum for placement on the November 2012general election ballot. If the referendum qualifies, the state Senate map certified by theCommission will automatically be stayed, presenting the question of what Senate districtsshould be used for the 2012 primary and general elections of the state Senate. In view of the numerous interconnected election-related events that must occur soon after the end of January 2012 in order to avoid disrupting the 2012 primary and general elections,
3
this
(
Footnote continued from previous page
)
submitted to a vote of the electorate, and be approved by the electorate before suchmeasure becomes effective. (Cal. Const., art. II, § 9;
id.
, art. XXI, § 2, subd. (i).) Theinitiative power, by contrast, refers to the authority of the people to propose statutes andconstitutional amendments to be submitted to a vote of the electorate, and the authority of the electorate to adopt or reject the proposed measure. (Cal. Const., art. II, § 8.)
2
See California Constitution, article XXI, sections 1 to 3.
3
The calendar of steps in preparation for the June 5, 2012, Primary Election is
available on the Secretary of State’s Web site, <http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/2012
-elections/calendar/pdfs/section-6-primary-election.pdf> (as of Jan. 27, 2012). Among theevents particularly relevant to the present case are the following: From December 30,2011, to February 23, 2012, state Senate candidates may obtain, in lieu of paying filingfees, the requisite number of signatures of registered voters who are eligible to vote for
(
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)
 
3action has been filed requesting this court to decide at this juncture which state Senatedistrict map should be utilized if 
 
the proposed referendum qualifies and triggers a stay of 
the Commission’s certified Senate district map.
Petitioner, Julie Vandermost, emphasizes the interest of referendum proponentsa
nd petition signers in insisting on an “up or down” referendum vote by the statewide
electorate
before
the voting districts that are the subject of the proposed referendum areutilized as the basis for electing any state senators. Accordingly, she asserts, if the
Commission’s state Senate map is stayed by the qualification of the referendum for the November 2012 ballot, we should not order the use of the Commission’s state Senate
district map as an interim remedy governing the 2012 primary and general elections.
Indeed, petitioner argues, we should issue an “alternative [or] peremptory writ of 
mandate commanding Respondent Debra Bowen, in her capacity as Secretary of State of the State of California, to . . . refrain from taking any action . . . implementing the
Citizens Redistricting Commission’s certified Senate map.” Moreover, petitioner urges,
we should establish new interim state Senate boundaries by either (1) using the state
(
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)
that candidate
 — 
in other words, those who are registered in the district in which thecandidate will run (Elec. Code, § 8106); and between February 13, 2012, and March 9,
2012, candidates must file a “Declaration of Candidacy” and nomination papers (
id 
.,§§ 8020, 8040, 8041) for the district in which he or she will run.The Secretary of State has submitted a declaration by Jana M. Lean, Chief of theElections Division, describing procedures used to implement the new district lines.According to the declara
tion, a system known as CalVoter II (CVII) “is used to set up an
election. Throughout the election cycle, which begins more than five months before theelection is held, CVII is used to certify statewide candidates [and] prepare the certifiedlist of cand
idates.” The declaration describes the various steps that must be taken to
program CVII, and asserts
 — 
apparently assuming those same internal timelines, and noeffort to further expedite them
 — 
 
that “approximately six weeks would be required to
implement
any changes to the Senate maps.”

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