San Luis Obispo County group wants to join redistricting lawsuit

May 12, 2022

By KAREN VELIE

The League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County is again asking to join a lawsuit challenging the county’s recently adopted redistricting map.

SLO County Citizens for Good Government and three SLO County residents filed a lawsuit on Jan. 12 challenging the SLO County Board of Supervisors’ selection of a redistricting map, arguing it benefits the Republican Party at the expense of Democrats and Latinos. Shorty afterwards, the League of Women Voters filed a motion to join the suit, but was denied based on issues with their motion.

On Tuesday, the league again filed a motion asking the judge to allow them to join the lawsuit, this time through legal counsel, which was one of the issues with their previous motion.

Based on a hearing in February in which the plaintiffs sought an exparte order to temporarily restrain the county from using the new map in the upcoming election, the league’s support is unlikely to impact the case.

In her ruling denying the motion for a temporary restraining order, Superior Court Judge Rita Federman rejected the bulk of plaintiffs’ arguments.

Plaintiffs argued that the map chosen by the board majority diluted Latino votes. Judge Federman disagreed, saying, “There are no protected class interests at issue in this case.”

The plaintiffs also insisted Democratic voters will lose their right to vote in the 2022 election because of redistricting, which will cause irreparable harm. Judge Federman rejected the argument.

“The right to vote may be delayed, but it will not be eliminated,” Judge Federman wrote in her ruling. “Accordingly, petitioners do not establish a significant showing of irreparable injury.”

The new map places the largest portion of San Luis Obispo in a district with Cal Poly and Morro Bay, which plaintiffs argued was breaking up communities of interest in favor of keeping the city more intact, which is a lower priority. Judge Federman rejected the claim, writing that cities can be considered communities of interest.

As for plaintiffs’ argument that the county should have considered whether the adopted map favored or discriminated against a political party, Judge Federman agreed. Even so, the judge found the plaintiffs unlikely to succeed on the merits of the case.

While it is illegal to draw a district to favor or disfavor a political party, “the mere fact that a particular reapportionment may result in a shift in political control of some legislative districts … falls short of demonstrating such a purpose,” according to the ruling.

The June 7 election will follow the new district boundaries. The lawsuit will continue to move through the system.


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obispan

Cal Poly is in San Luis Obispo, not Atascadero. Why was Cal Poly in Atascadero? It was done by the 3/2 Democrats both in 2000 and again in 2010 to make Atascadero’s district more competitive. New map makes sense to me.


horse_soldier

So much for the League being non partisan…


derasmus

That was my first thought as well.


Also, the plaintiff(s) need to brush up on what is considered a “protected class, “ assuming they are claiming some sort of civil rights infringement.


commonsenseguy

Aw, ain’t that rich. Does it surprise anybody? The LWF is nothing more than a far-left organization that supports Progressive/Democrat/Socialist candidates and their extremist agendas. If I remember right, isn’t Susan Devine, the late Adam Hill’s campaign manager and assistant to him on the board of the LWV? Just another corrupt arm of the local leftist with direct connection to the illegal activity of the pot industry and the greed for power and control over the voter’s rights. What a sham they are. There is no fairness, tolerance, inclusiveness, or credibility with this partisan group of deceitful liars.


obispan

If I remember right, she was his ASS-i(n)stant, Bruce Gibson-style.