Claims SB 958 descriminates against voters and eliminates local Control
The County filed a complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday against the State of California, seeking to invalidate a new law they say discriminates against independent voters, strips control from local voters concerning the process of re-drawing the county’s supervisorial districts, making it much more political. They charge that the law created by State Senate Bill 958 last year, is unconstitutional and are seeking a permanent injunction barring its implementation.
The county contends that the law is unworkable, unconstitutional, unfair and was unnecessarily forced on the residents of Los Angeles County, over the objections of their elected representatives.
Specifically, the new law violates two sections of the State Constitution, one that prohibits the legislature from imposing special laws on particular counties (Article IV, Section 16); the other requires county offices to be nonpartisan (Article II, Section 6). SB 958 also contradicts the voter-approved County Charter, which assigns the job of re-districting to the Board of Supervisors.
Under the new law, membership is based on political party registration, which discriminates against independent voters who make up 25% of more than l million registered voters in the County. The new 14-member Citizen Redistricting Committee will be responsible for creating County Supervisor district boundaries after each U.S. Census every 10 years.
Based on current registration numbers, 70% of the commission members are Democrats, 25% Republicans, and 5% are from other, smaller political parties. Voters who register without a party preference, the fastest-growing segment of newly registered voters, will not be given equal consideration.
According to the suit, the new law imposes an experimental system that selects a citizen redistricting commission based on luck and chance, not proper public deliberation with the citizens of Los Angeles County voters, who cannot change the law if they are dissatisfied.
Sacramento passed the law over the objection of County Supervisors, without holding any meetings in Los Angeles County. The measure is also opposed by the California State Association of Counties, the Urban Counties of California, the County of Riverside, Common Cause and the Los Angeles Times editorial board.
The last apportionment based on the 2010 Census, included extensive input from County voters and was never challenged in court.
For more information contact: Lennie LaGuire, Countywide Communications. County of Los Angeles, Office: (213) 974-1311, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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