CA Supreme Court Uses Unusual Procedure to Extend California Redistricting Commission Headlines

At the Lectern:

The Supreme Court today granted in part the Citizens Redistricting Commission motion, filed a month ago, to further extend the constitutional and statutory deadlines to release for public comment and to then certify and approve Congressional, state legislative, and Board of Equalization district maps for the 2022 election.  The extensions are a bit shorter than the Commission asked for, however.

The court last year issued a writ extending from July 1 to November 1 the date for releasing proposed maps for public comment and from August 15 to December 15 the time to approve and certify final maps.  Under today’s order, those deadlines are now November 15 and December 27.  The Commission wanted the dates to be November 19 and January 14, to avoid the need for public meetings during the holiday season.

The order is procedurally unusual.  The Commission’s motion was filed in the writ of mandate proceeding that yielded last year’s extension opinion (Legislature v. Padilla (2020) 9 Cal.5th 867) and it asked for modifications of the court’s writ.  The order says that it “clarifie[s] and modifie[s]” the writ.  But the court had made its decision issuing the writ final on filing, and the rules provide that a decision can’t be modified after its finality (rules 8.264(c)(1), 8.490(a), 8.532(c)).

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