LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles County filed a lawsuit on Monday, February 27 against the State of California over a new law that discriminates against 1 million voters, and taking away the power of the Board of Supervisors to draw its own political boundaries.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, aims to block SB958, a 2016 California law that creates a 14-member commission to draw boundaries for county supervisor districts after the 2020 census.
The statewide panel includes five members representing the major parties and four representing smaller parties and voters with no party affiliation.
The new law creates a redistricting committee of Los Angeles County residents whose political party affiliations must reflect county wide party registration. They must be registered with a political party, according to attorneys for Los Angeles County.
The suit indicates that SB958 violates the state constitution by discriminating against independent voters and unfairly singling out Los Angeles County over other California counties.
Two sections of the State Constitution are violated by the law, one which prohibits the legislature from imposing special laws on particular counties (Article IV, Section 16); the other requires county offices to be nonpartisan (Article II, Section 6). SB958 contradicts the voter-approved County Charter, which assigns the job of redistricting to the Board of Supervisors.
Democratic State Senator Ricardo Lara of Los Angeles, who wrote the law said, “It recognizes Los Angeles’s diversity and promotes transparency in a County whose population is larger than that of 40 states.”
Supporters of the law says it allows “a broader range of perspectives and voices” to shape super visional districts.
The Senate Bill was passed along the party lines on the second to the last day of session and it was signed by Governor Jerry Brown In October 2016. It applies only to Los Angeles County.
“If the citizens redistricting commission is good enough for the State Legislature and Congress, it should be good enough for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,” Lara said in a statement.