California Common Cause has filed Amicus Briefs and is seeking intervention on behalf of defendants, the State of California. Plaintiff is challenging the selection process of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, because in addition to considering relevant skills, lack of conflicts of interest, ability to appreciate the state’s diversity, geographic and gender diversity, other such as race and ethnicity may be considered. We argue that the selection process was carefully designed to choose 14 independent, intelligent, and representative commissioners to carry out California’s redistricting process. Providing pro bono counsel are attorneys from the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson.
California Common Cause filed an Amicus Brief in support of defendants, California Secretary of State. Plaintiff challenged the right of voters to consider a ballot question referred by the Legislature, that would instruct Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, and allow reasonable regulation of money in the political arena. The CA Supreme Court temporarily removed Prop. 49 from the ballot, pending hearing. Common Cause argued that CA has used ballot instructions in the past, and voters should have a chance to vote on this important issue. Providing pro bono counsel were attorneys from the law firm of Arnold & Porter. After rehearing, on Jan. 4, 2016, the state high court ruled in favor of the Secretary of State, stating that voter instructions are permissible under the California constitution. The court then instructed the Legislature to pass a new bill to restore the Overturn Citizens United Act to the November ballot. That new bill became SB 254 (Allen), which passed the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown allowed into law. SB 254 appeared on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot as Proposition 59, which California voters approved by a margin of 52%.