March 1, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Appeals Court Issues Tentative Ruling in Voting Rights Case

Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District issues tentative ruling in Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica

By Sam Catanzaro

A tentative ruling has been issued in the City of Santa Monica’s appeal of a voting rights case.

At the start of the oral arguments Tuesday, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District judges announced their tentative ruling in favor of the City of Santa Monica in the case Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica.

The tentative ruling overturns a trial court’s order that directed Santa Monica to switch to district-based elections. 

The case filed by plaintiffs Pico Neighborhood Association, Maria Loya and Advocates for Malibu Public Schools alleges that Santa Monica’s at-large election system dilutes Latino voting power in violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and discriminates against Latino voters in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution.

In a ruling released February 15, 2019, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos ordered that all future elections for seats on the Santa Monica City Council be based on a seven-district map drawn by an expert for the plaintiffs. The City then appealed this decision.

This story is still developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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