California Republicans Lose Redistricting Plan Challenges

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 28, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The California Supreme Court this week denied two petitions for writs of mandate challenging the validity of redistricting maps that have been certified by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The court also denied a request for an emergency stay of the certified maps.

California Republicans contested the congressional and State Senate maps in a closed session of the State Supreme Court, alleging that some of the boundaries violated state constitutional requirements for compact, contiguous districts. Challengers also argued that the maps did not comply with the federal voting rights law governing minority representation, reports Los Angeles Times.

The challengers filed their claims after the remap created more districts that are likely to vote for Democrats. The judges did not detail their reasons for rejecting the lawsuits.

California Republicans are now left with one option: overturning the maps in a ballot referendum. Supporters of the referendum must collect 504,000 signatures in support of the measure before Nov. 13 to bring the issue to the voters next year, reports ATVN.

The Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC), a group that draws voting district lines in conformity with nonpartisan rules, certified all four statewide electoral maps on August 15. The maps cover the 40 State Senate and 80 Assembly districts, California's 53 congressional districts, and the 4 districts of the California State Board of Equalization.

California voters took redistricting away from legislature, and created the CRC to do it every 10 years, after the census. The CRC was designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians.

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