Saturday, August 11, 2018

Santa Monica on Trial Over Voting Rights Lawsuit

Santa Monica, Calif., with a “well-being index” to gauge the happiness of its Residents and a Fleet of City Buses powered by Natural Gas, often lives up to its reputation as a Wealthy, Liberal Enclave on California’s Coast.

The City of Santa Monica is being Sued for Violating California’s Voting Rights Act, according to Plaintiff Maria Loya.

The Lawsuit comes after Maria Loya lost Elections for City Council and the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees back in 2004 and 2014.

Loya claims her Loss was a result of the At-Large Election and is now asking the Court to switch the City to a District-Election system.

The City’s Attorneys, however, say that changing to a District-Based system would not solve the Problem, because the Latino Population is spread throughout the City, a Representative for each District may not be the best Solution.

Andrea Alarcon, a Civil Rights Attorney for Shenkman Hughes, a Los Angeles-based Law Firm Representing Maria Loya, who is Suing the City of Santa Monica over its Voting System.

Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., LA-based Attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, which was hired by Santa Monica to work with the City Attorney’s Office and Represent the City. He is an Appellate and Constitutional Law Expert and is one of the Lead Attorneys defending Santa Monica.

Meanwhile, a Conservative Legal Foundation is taking California’s Voting Rights Act to Federal Court, saying that it is putting too much emphasis on Race as a Factor in Elections.

The 2002 California Voting Rights Act forces Cities, Counties, and School Districts “to make race the sole factor in districting,” said Edward Blum, President of the Nonprofit Project on Fair Representation, as his Virginia-based group asked a Federal Judge to Overturn the Law.

The contention is related to the Reverse-Discrimination Argument Blum’s group used in 2013 when it persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to Strike Down the 1965 Federal Law’s Central Enforcement Provision.

That Provision, which Congress had Renewed in 2006, set Standards for determining whether State and Local Governments had a History of Racial Bbias and therefore were required to get Advance Approval from the Justice Department for any Changes in their Voting Rules or District Boundaries. The Court said the pervasive Discrimination that may have Justified the Law in the Past no longer Existed, “Things have changed dramatically,” Chief Justice John Roberts declared for a 5-4 Majority.

How wrong could a Supreme Court get?

Preclearance should be part of the Census process. Every Ten years all States should be put on Preclearance. The States then file their last Ten years of Voting records with the Voting Rights Division. Some States would stay on and some would be removed. Then the States can redraw the District Maps.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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