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California Supreme Court justices will not review an appellate panel’s decision finding Palmdale’s at-large elections violate the California Voting Rights Act, an attorney for the plaintiff said Wednesday.
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“Palmdale is running out of options and will have to soon face the fact that its elections have been illegal,” said Kevin Shenkman, who represents the plaintiffs.
“We’re very pleased that the California Supreme Court has denied another one of Palmdale’s frivolous appeals, which is an extreme abuse of its taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.
Palmdale officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the decision.
Shenkman also is representing the plaintiffs in cases that were filed against several Santa Clarita Valley entities.
The status of those lawsuit settlements is still being determined, as the city of Santa Clarita — one of three entities that entered into settlement negotiations with Shenkman & Hughes — recently questioned the validity of their own settlement with a motion due to be addressed Sept. 5.
From a previous story:
The filing is a result of Santa Clarita officials’ uncertainty over whether their agreed-upon settlement is legal and feasible, saidJoe Montes, Santa Clarita city attorney.
“If cumulative voting is not permitted and we’re not allowed to change the election date, then the parties will have to confer again as to how the matter will proceed,” Montes said. “It could mean that the litigation resumes, it could mean settlement talks could have to resume — that’s just too far off to speculate at this point.”
Shenkman, who represents the plaintiffs against the city, Jim Solizand Rosemarie Sanchez-Fraser, called the city’s stance “bizarre,” and questioned why Santa Clarita city officials would authorize a settlement and then question its legality.
“The CVRA gives the power to courts to find appropriate remedies for a California Voting Rights Act violation,” said Kevin Shenkman, who’s representing the plaintiffs. “In a lot of ways, the city would prefer to do cumulative voting (as opposed to district-based elections), so (the brief) doesn’t make any sense.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News