Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Motion to dismiss San Mateo Supervisor election lawsuit, 1/15/13

San Mateo County Supervisor are elected  by District as of  the November 2012 election.  The lawsuit against past "at large" County Supervisor elections has not been withdrawn.

"At large" elected Supervisors violated civil representation?
Palo Alto Daily News/Bonnie Eslinger, staff, 1/8/12.  "San Mateo County wants 'moot' suit dropped since voters approved district elections."

"Now that San Mateo County residents have decided to switch the way they elect supervisors, the county next week will ask a judge to call off a trial on a lawsuit that alleges its old voting system discriminates against Asians and Latinos. But in court documents filed Friday, the plaintiffs argue the case must go on because of long-standing obstacles that prevented ethnic groups from electing representative leaders. They contend a court ruling is needed to establish that countywide elections dilute minority votes and to prevent county officials from later seeking a return to that system. The lawsuit, filed in April 2011 by a group of civil rights lawyers on behalf of six county voters, alleges the previous system violated the California Voting Rights Act. It notes that only one Latino, one African-American and no Asians have served on the Board of Supervisors in a county where 25 percent of the population is now Asian and 25 percent Latino.

....  James Wagstaffe, an attorney representing the county, said such a move would be tantamount to putting the "cart well before the horse" because there's no evidence that supports the current boundaries foster discrimination. "They've suddenly changed the focal point and are arguing the case should keep going for things they never asked for in the lawsuit they filed," Wagstaffe added. 

....  The hearing on San Mateo County's motion to dismiss the lawsuit for being moot is scheduled for Jan. 15. The trial is set to begin Feb. 19."   Read article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good job Wagstaffe.