In yet another case on the Supreme Court’s pandemic docket, California’s Legislature wants the court to order a four-month delay of the deadline for the state Redistricting Commission to submit Congressional, state legislative, and Board of Equalization district maps for the 2022 election. According to the emergency original writ petition in Legislature of the State of California v. Padilla, the extension is necessary because the federal Census Bureau has asked Congress for the same amount of extra time to deliver to California and other states the data needed to draw the maps.
So far, the Legislature’s request in quite popular. The court asked the respondent Secretary of State to submit a preliminary opposition, but he instead filed a “response” joining the petition’s request for relief. The Commission itself filed a similar document, and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters of California submitted an amici curiae letter supporting the petition.
A possible impediment to the court granting the petition is that the Legislature could itself takes steps to change the deadline. But that would involve putting a constitutional amendment on this November’s ballot, a process with a July 26 deadline. The timing for that is tight, the Legislature says, with the Assembly and Senate scheduled to be in recess from June 19 and July 2, respectively, until July 13.