SANTA MONICA—The state Supreme Court has agreed to review an appellate court’s ruling that Santa Monica did not violate the California Voting Rights Act with its at-large voting system. Additionally, the 2nd District Court of Appeal’s opinion was ordered to be removed from the official record and cannot be cited by lawyers.
In 2018, a Los Angeles judge ruled in favor of the Pico Neighborhood Association and against the city of Santa Monica in a voter rights trial that aimed to bring better representation to Santa Monica’s minority Latino population. Attorney Rex Parris, who is also the mayor of Lancaster, argued that Santa Monica’s minority voters were silenced by the city’s at-large election system in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution.
Parris added that the Pico Neighborhood is disenfranchised due to a lack of proper representation and intentional discrimination against the city’s ethnic minority since 1946.
In 2020, this ruling was overturned by the lower California Court of Appeal. This overturned ruling will now be heard by the higher California Supreme Court. It will impact Santa Monica’s voting system and possibly set a precedent in California.
“The fight for justice is an ongoing battle, and we’re grateful the highest court in California has deemed this matter important enough to consider overturning the Court of Appeals’ decision. At a time when Americans throughout the country are fighting for voter rights, we have our own battle on that very issue right here in Southern California,” said Attorney Parris.