6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Which State Senate Maps Will Show the Way?

Support Provided By
The California Supreme Court building
The California Supreme Court building

Challenges to California's newly drawn legislative lines are abound. As I have written about here, here, and here, opponents of our state's newly drawn district lines have waged a two-step attack and have taken their battles to the ballot box and the courthouse.

No one can predict the success of opponents' challenges. Judges may find that the lines are constitutionally drawn. Voters may decide that the independent redistricting commission did its job and that the current lines will stand.

This type of uncertainty is less than helpful. Incumbents and would-be-candidates do not know the shape and size of their districts. Imagine a scenario in which one set of district lines are in place for a primary election and another set for the general. Chaos would ensue.

The California Supreme Court will step in to give some certainty to the ever-volatile world of redistricting if a ballot measure seeking to overturn the newly drawn state senate lines qualifies for next year's ballot. That effort is led by a GOP-backed group known as FAIR (Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting). The State Supreme Court has already looked with disfavor on one request by FAIR. In that case the group asked the court to find the newly drawn maps unconstitutional under the voting rights act.

It is no surprise that the GOP is less than thrilled about the newly drawn senate lines. Many predict that the lines could allow Democrats to pick up a number of additional seats in the state's upper legislative house. If that happens, Republican membership in the state senate could fall below one-third, the magic number needed to block tax and fee increases.

Our state's highest court is set to rule early next year about which state Senate lines will apply in next year's primary and general elections. The California Supreme Court has set an expedited briefing schedule. Oral arguments will be held in early January.

Jessica Levinson writes about the intersection of law and government every Monday. She is a Visiting Professor at Loyola Law School.

The photo used on this post is by Flickr user Steve Rhodes and was used under a Creative Commons License.

Support Provided By
Read More
Perez takes a break during his therapy. He could barely breathe when he was admitted to Los Angeles County’s Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in early June of last year.

Learning to Live Again: A Lazarus Tale from the COVID-19 Front Lines

Vicente Perez Castro, a 57-year-old cook from Long Beach, could barely breathe when he was admitted to Los Angeles County’s Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. At a certain point, the doctors told his family that he wasn’t going to make it. Months later, here he was — an outpatient at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, the only public hospital in the county whose main mission is patient rehab.
A keychain hangs from a lock on a doorknob.

Landlords Can Sign Up for Rent-Guaranteed Program to House Homeless Angelenos During the Pandemic and Beyond

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority today urged property owners to sign up for a program that matches landlords with people experiencing homelessness, with rent guaranteed by the government.
The fourth person from the left, Bii Gallardo help hold a banner that reads "DEFEND THE SACRED" during the L.A. Women’s March in January 2020.

Bii Gallardo: Building Relationships with Land to Fight For Climate Justice

“I’ve fallen in love with working with my community and working for social justice and environmental rights,” says Bii Gallardo. Those are the reasons why the Apache and Yaqui activist works so hard to recognize Indigenous voices and fight for environmental justice.