Lawsuit Takes Issue with New California Election Map

Sep 30, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
A former California congressman has sued over new election districts in Los Angeles.

Former Republican Congressman George Radanovich of California has joined others in filing a lawsuit challenging the Golden State's recently redrawn congressional districts.

Under the terms of 2008 and 2010 ballot initiatives, the district lines were redrawn this year by a citizens commission rather than by legislators. This change was meant to eliminate partisan concerns from the redistricting process, but Radanovich says this goal was not achieved.

In a written statement quoted by the Sacramento Bee, Radanovich asserted that lines were illegally drawn in three Los Angeles districts to protect incumbent candidates. He stated, "California voters approved two initiatives designed to finally remove politics and back room deals from redistricting. Unfortunately, the Citizens Redistricting Commission failed miserably in that respect."

Specifically, the suit contends that the new lines in the Los Angeles area violate a federal law that at least one or two districts have a majority of African American voters, and they also negatively impact Latinos by eliminating one or two Latino-majority districts, the Bee reported.

If a court does not side with Radanovich, the new districts could still be overturned by a voter referendum being organized by Republican strategist David Gilliard, according to the news source.

Other states dealing with election law issues include Wyoming, where the secretary of state has sued to eliminate term limits, and Colorado, where the secretary of state has sued the Denver County clerk over absentee ballot mailing procedures.