Today, the California Supreme Court ruled on the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s (Commission) petition to clarify and/or modify the writ of mandate issued by the Court on July 17, 2020 (Legislature of CA v Alex Padilla S262530)—when it ruled that the Commission should have until December 15, 2021 to submit its maps to the California Secretary of State due to the delay in release of census results. If census results were received after July 31, 2021, the Commission’s deadline would be adjusted accordingly to compensate for the additional federal delay.
“The Commission is disappointed that the California Supreme Court did not agree with our justification for a January 14, 2022 deadline to submit final maps to the California Secretary of State,” stated Commission Chair Neal Fornaciari. “While disappointed with the ruling, the Commission is committed to ensuring continued public participation in the process and to posting the first set of draft district maps by the court mandated date of November 15, 2021 and to delivering the final district maps to the Secretary of State by the court mandated date of December 27, 2021. The Commission would like to thank the Court for its timely consideration and response to our petition.”
The State of California received local level data from the U.S. Census Bureau on August 12, 2021. These data required further preparation by the Statewide Database to allow for the state’s incarcerated population to be counted with the communities of their last known residence and reformat the data for use by the Commission. The Statewide Database published official census results on September 20, 2021. These data are available at: https://statewidedatabase.org/redistricting2021/pl94-legacy.html.
The relief sought by the Commission’s motion aimed to preserve the maximum opportunity for the public to be involved throughout the redistricting process by instituting a January 14, 2022 deadline, and for the Commission to be able to receive and respond to the public’s input, while adhering as closely as possible to the framework envisioned and adopted by the Voters First Act.
Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.
In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First Act, authorizing the creation of the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw new State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization district lines. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress gave the Commission the responsibility of drawing new Congressional districts following every census.
For more information, please visit WeDrawTheLinesCA.org.