Sacramento, CA (December 28, 2012) --
The Superior Court of California has released their ruling in the matter of Connerly v. State of California. The Court has recognized that the Commissioners of the Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) are public officers and as such are outside the scope of coverage of Prop. 209, which applies to public employment.
Plaintiffs in the case had taken issue with the commissioner selection process as set out in Government Code, Section 8252, which states in part that, "...appointees shall be chosen to ensure the commission reflects the state's diversity, including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, geographic, and gender diversity. However, it is not intended that formulas or specific rations be applied for this purpose. Applicants should also be chosen based on relevant analytical skills and ability to be impartial." Plaintiffs argued that this selection criterion was contrary to Prop. 209. Respondents filed a demurrer contending that as public officers appointment of commissioners is not governed by Prop. 209.
In its decision, the Court agreed with Respondents and found that as defined in long-established case law the CRC Commissioners are "public officers" and not "public employees".
Commissioner Angelo Ancheta, CRC Legal Committee Chair: "This is an important legal victory for the people of California and the Commission. While Californians may disagree about Proposition 209 and the role of race in public life, the court's ruling makes it clear that the process for selecting Commissioners was consistent with both Proposition 11 and the California Constitution".
The court refused to grant plaintiffs leave to amend the complaint, so this will constitute final judgment.
The full court ruling as well as additional information about the Commission and the redistricting process can be found at www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.