Lawless. That’s the right word for the Supreme Court’s decision in the redistricting case. Lawless, in that it ignored the law to reach a decision the Court was explicitly prohibited from reaching.
The background of this case is probably well known to anyone reading this blog. A referendum petition was circulated to challenge the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission’s approved maps of the State Senate lines for the coming election. The petitioners gathered over 711,000 signatures and, therefore, the Court recognized, the petition is “likely to qualify” for the ballot. But this likelihood creates a problem. According to the California Constitution, the existence of a referendum “likely to qualify” for the ballot – which the Court accepts that we have here – operates to “stay” the Commission’s lines. If the lines are “stayed,” though, and the election is coming, what lines should be used? That is the question the Supreme Court had to answer.
The most important point to note is the explicit text of the Constitution. Under our form of government, the Constitution, coming as it does from the sovereign people, is the supreme law of the land.… Read More