February 4, 2019
Poway, CA – Civil rights organizations Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (Advancing Justice – ALC) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA) applaud today’s dismissal of the state Attorney General from a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and sought to overturn the use of district elections in the City of Poway. While the City of Poway and our clients continue to be defendants in the case, the plaintiff now has the burden of showing why his entire lawsuit should not be dismissed.
Jonathan Stein, Voting Rights Program Manager & Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice – ALC, and Deanna Kitamura, Voting Rights Project Director at Advancing Justice – LA issue the following statement on today’s dismissal:
“Today’s ruling recognizes that the California Voting Rights Act is consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This is the second time a court has rejected a constitutional challenge to the CVRA. The CVRA was created because at-large election systems often deny minority community members access to meaningful representation by allowing the majority vote to override minority voters’ preferred candidates. Many California jurisdictions have converted to district elections because of the CVRA, and data shows that their local governing bodies are more representative of their residents as a result. We are glad that this landmark civil rights law continues to be the law in California.
While we anticipate a potential challenge to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, we will stand firm in our conviction that all communities deserve a fair chance at representation.”