The right-wing war on voting opened a new front by filing a lawsuit that, if successful, could make it more difficult to elect non-white candidates in California and possibly across the nation.
The complaint was filed by Virginia-based Project on Fair Representation, which filed the lawsuit in Shelby County, Alabama, that led to the Supreme Court’s 2013 gutting of the main enforcement formula in the Voting Rights Act. Project on Fair Representation is led by Ed Blum, a well-known figure in the right-wing universe who was involved in drafting the suit challenging affirmative action in state university admissions that made it to the Supreme Court, though it lost.
On Wednesday, Blum filed a suit targeting the California Voting Rights Act. The suit argues the law is unconstitutional because it gives the state power to force cities to create political districts for local seats, taking racial representation into account, and thus replacing the previous at-large districts, where the top vote getters fill several seats.
In other words, the California Legislature decided in passing CVRA that it was better to have more local election districts, where strong local leaders could win — as opposed to bigger at-large districts, where local support could become diluted (because more populous suburbs may not choose inner city or minority candidates).
The Project’s suit, however, challenges that version of affirmative action in California elections.
“The CVRA has recently been utilized by a handful of attorneys to demand that dozens of California localities to abandon longstanding, at-large forms of voting systems in favor of race-based, single-member districts,” Blum’s press release said. “The lawsuit asserts that the California Legislature did not follow Supreme Court decisions making clear that race cannot be the predominant factor in redistricting. The complaint emphasizes that the …read more