Lawsuit on California’s Huge Legislative Districts Begins to Move Ahead

U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller will hold a status conference in Citizens for Fair Representation v Padilla, e.d., 2:17cv-973, on August 25, Friday, in Sacramento. This is the lawsuit that argues that California is violating the U.S. Constitution by having such huge populations in each of its legislative districts. State Senators have almost 1,000,000 constituents, and Assemblymembers have almost 500,000.


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Lawsuit on California’s Huge Legislative Districts Begins to Move Ahead — 7 Comments

  1. So what provision of the U.S. Constitution is being violated — the Equal Protection Clause?

    Any time there is a state law that is unjust, it’s gotta be a violation of the EP Clause or the DP Clause. After all, one or both of those two clauses have gotta prohibit unjust laws. They’ve just gotta!

  2. The plaintiffs should get behind “The Low Cost New Hampshire-Style Neighborhood Legislature Act” initiative which is circulating now. The case should be thrown out because the plaintiffs have not sought to remedy the harm they claim.

  3. The average state Senator in the U.S. represents 156,339 Americans (per Ballotpedia). California has a population of 39.14 million. In order to have national-average state senate districts, they’d need 250 state senators. The average state representative represents 59,626 people (again per Ballotpedia). In order to meet that average, California would need 656 state reps. That would make the lower house bigger than the House of Commons in the UK, and the house and senate together would be in the top-5 largest legislatures in the world.

    I sympathize with the point about CA’s districts being way too large for effective local representation, but if anything it’s an argument for splitting California in two or more states. I can’t rationalize any way in which the U.S. Constitution compels a more numerous state legislature, though.

  4. This case will have lots of evidence that ordinary people just can’t have meaningful communication with their state legislators. But I must admit I’m not sure which part of the U.S. Constitution is being cited. Maybe it is the clause about the U.S. guaranteeing each state a republican government.

  5. I really like the policy result they’re pushing, don’t get me wrong about that… but I think this is probably a case where the Constitution does not mandate my policy preferences.

  6. Abolish the semi-fixed USA Senate gerrymander (a result of the conspiracy of the small and slave States in the top secret 1787 Fed. Convention) —

    then divide up the larger States.

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