Newsom allies seek to have recall declared unconstitutional
As the recall election aimed at California Gov. Gavin Newsom enters its final days, it’s worth noting that some of Newsom’s defenders have decided the best way to defeat the recall – and make sure such a thing never happens again – is to get the entire process declared unconstitutional:
…a new lawsuit filed by third parties has taken a different approach to head off the election – get California’s recall law declared unconstitutional. Suing to stop a recall is not a novel undertaking at all. Almost every recall of note comes with lawsuits, with a spotty record of success in stopping the vote. But the political repercussions of a lawsuit of this type can backfire and help the recall proponents.
The lawsuit, which was thrown out by a lower court but is being appealed, is based on a claim that California’s recall law violates the principles of one-person, one-vote as set out in the Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims line of cases, some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Before the Court acted in 1962, legislative districts were lopsided, to the degree that the largest districts in some states had more than 200 times the population of the smallest ones. This greatly increased the power of those in the smallest districts.
The argument for unconstitutionality rests on the fact California law uses a two-step form for its recall law. The sitting official faces a yes or no vote on whether they can stay in office. On the same ballot, voters choose the replacement. The ousted official is barred from the replacement race.
It’s unclear whether this will be decided before the Sept. 14 election (for which voting is already underway). But what is clear is that some elements of California’s political class have a deep and abiding disdain for voters exercising a progressive policy created to keep the big boys honest.