Applicable Redistricting Laws and Redistricting Principles

VOTING RIGHTS ACT

Section 2

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended in 1982 and renewed on July 20, 2006, reads:

“No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title, as provided in subsection (b) of this section

A violation of subsection (a) of this section is established if, based on the totality of circumstances, it is shown that the political processes leading to nomination or election in the State or political subdivision are not equally open to participation by members of a class of citizens protected by subsection (a) of this section in that its member have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice. The extent to which members of a protected class have been elected to office in the State or political subdivision is one circumstance which may be considered. Provided, that nothing in this section establishes a right to have members of a protected class elected in numbers equal to their participation in the population.”

U.S. CONSTITUTION

14th Amendment

Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall deny the equal protection of the laws to any person within its jurisdiction.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY CHARTER

Article II

Board of Supervisors

Section 4.  The County of Los Angeles shall have a Board of Supervisors consisting of five members, each of whom must be an elector of the district which he represents, must reside therein during his incumbency, must have been such an elector for at least one year immediately preceding his election, and shall be elected by such district.  Their terms of office shall be four years, and each shall hold until his successor is elected and qualified.  ….

Section 5.  The County is hereby divided into five supervisorial districts, the boundaries of which shall be and remain as they are now or until otherwise changed as provided in this Charter.

Section 7.  The Board of Supervisors may, by a two-thirds’ vote of its members, change the boundaries of any supervisorial district.  No such boundaries shall ever be so changed as to affect the incumbency in office of any supervisor.  Any change in the boundaries of any supervisorial district must be made within one year after a general election.

CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS CODE (2011)
Division 21. State and Local Reapportionment
Chapter 6. Supervisorial Districts

§ 21500. Adjustment of boundaries of supervisorial districts following federal census

Following each decennial federal census, and using that census as a basis, the board shall adjust the boundaries of any or all of the supervisorial districts of the county so that the districts shall be as nearly equal in population as may be and shall comply with the applicable provisions of Section 1973 of Title 42 of the United States Code, as amended. In establishing the boundaries of the districts the board may give consideration to the following factors: (a) topography, (b) geography, (c) cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory, and (d) community of interests of the districts.

§ 21500.1. Public hearing

The board shall hold at least one public hearing on any proposal to adjust the boundaries of a district, prior to a public hearing at which the board votes to approve or defeat the proposal.

§ 21501. Time for adjusting boundaries

The boundaries of the supervisorial districts shall be adjusted by the board before the first day of November of the year following the year in which each decennial federal census is taken. If the board fails to adjust the boundaries before the first day of November following the year in which the federal census is taken, a supervisorial redistricting commission shall do so before the 31st day of December of the same year. The adjustment of the district boundaries shall be immediately effective the same as if the act of the supervisorial redistricting commission were an ordinance of the board, subject, however, to the same provisions of referendum as apply to ordinances of the board.

§ 21502. Composition of supervisorial redistricting commission

The supervisorial redistricting commission shall be composed of the district attorney, who shall be chairman, the county assessor, and the county elections official if he or she is elected by the qualified electors of the county, or, if not, the county superintendent of schools if he or she is elected by the qualified electors of the county, or, if not, the sheriff.

§ 21503. Adjustment of district boundaries at other times; Bases

At any time between the decennial adjustments of district boundaries, the board may cause a census of the county to be taken as provided in Section 26203 of the Government Code, and may adjust the boundaries of the supervisorial districts on the basis of that census, or on the basis of population estimates prepared by the State Department of Finance or the county planning department or planning commission, pursuant to Section 21500.

§ 21504. Commencement of action in superior court in declaratory relief to determine appropriate district boundaries

Any person claiming that the estimates of population used in the redistricting pursuant to Section 21503 do not reflect the current population within the district boundaries more accurately than the most recent census data, may commence an action in the superior court in declaratory relief to determine that fact. The action shall be brought within 30 days after the adoption of the redistricting ordinance.

§ 21505. Committee to study changing of boundaries of supervisorial districts

The board may appoint a committee composed of residents of the county to study the matter of changing the boundaries of the supervisorial districts. The committee shall make its report to the board of its findings on the need for change of boundaries, and the recommended changes, within six months after the final population figures determined in each federal decennial census have been released, but in any event not later than August 1st of the year following the year in which the census is taken. Recommendations of the committee are advisory only.

§ 21506. Effect of change of boundaries on term of office

The term of office of any supervisor who has been elected and whose term of office has not expired shall not be affected by any change in the boundaries of the district from which he or she was elected.

At the first election for county supervisors in each county following adjustment of the boundaries of supervisorial districts, a supervisor shall be elected for each district under the readjusted district plan that has the same district number as a district whose incumbent’s term is due to expire.

A change in the boundaries of a supervisorial district shall not be made within 45 days before the first day for circulating nomination papers for an election of supervisors in the county or between the direct primary election and the general election.