Home General U.S. District Court Judge Refuses to Strike Down California Residency Requirement for Circulators, on Standing Grounds
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U.S. District Court Judge Refuses to Strike Down California Residency Requirement for Circulators, on Standing Grounds

Published on February 4, 2011, by in General.

On February 4, U.S. District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, a Bush Jr. appointee, refused to strike down the California residency requirement for circulators of candidate petitions, even though all sides to the lawsuit agree that the law is unconstitutional. Here is the 8-page decision. The Judge said the plaintiffs, who include the Los Angeles County Libertarian Party, a member of the party who wants to circulate a petition outside of his home legislative district, and a candidate, all lack standing, because the Secretary of State has told the court that she will not enforce the requirement.

The plaintiffs pointed out in their last brief that the Secretary of State’s web page for all recent special elections sets forth the residency requirement for circulators, and does not say anywhere on her web page that she doesn’t enforce these laws. By contrast, the Secretary of State’s same web page sets out the duration of residency requirement for candidates for the legislature, but has a footnote saying she won’t enforce that law, which is part of the California Constitution. The judge said, “Just because the Secretary of State has publicly announced that certain election law provisions are, in her view, unconstitutional and will not be enforced, does not suggest that all the other provisions will be enforced.” The case is Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County v Bowen, 2:10-cv-02488. Plaintiffs will appeal to the 9th circuit. The 9th circuit ruled in 1989 that even a voter has standing to challenge a ballot access law, in Erum v Cayetano.

5 Responses

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  2. CaliforniaScreaming

    Oh really. So the secretary of state won’t prosecute, but district attorneys will. In fact, I have been in petition campaigns where we would have to be hired as a “witnesses” to help circulate petitions. We have been threatened in various cities by ROVs that submitting out of city, county, state declaration residences are crimes.

  3. Demo Rep

    ANY thing that an executive branch bureaucrat does is legally meaningless.

    The LAWS on the books control – until the FINAL court involved says that the LAW involved in UN-constitutional.

    This stuff ain’t atomic physics — except for MORON bureaucrats.

  4. Demo Rep

    How much *standing* by the folks in Mass on 19 Apr. 1775 ???

    How much standing by the folks in Egypt in the streets ???

  5. Who has standing to sue a public official who claims not to be enforcing a statute, in order to compel him or or her to at least claim to enforce it? Would the constitutionality of the statute even be an issue is such a lawsuit?

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