The California voting rights case you will never hear about

This is so far under the radar that you are guaranteed never to hear about it.  A landmark case is crawling its way through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and no one is the wiser.  California's secretary of state and attorney general want it that way.

The case is number 18-17458, titled Citizens for Fair Representation v. Alex Padilla.  On March 6, 2020, in Courtroom 1, Third Floor, Room 338, James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, San Francisco at 9:30 A.M., you were supposed to be able hear oral arguments on how one state senator cannot effectively represent one million Californians and how one state Assembly member cannot represent 500,000 Californians.  The basis of this claim is invidious discrimination that has prevented certain minorities from ever having held one of these seats in the Legislature, since its membership is fixed at 40 and 80, respectively.

Why were you not able to hear oral arguments?  Well, the Ninth Circuit felt that enough information had been provided by both parties in the case that the court could make a ruling without hearing them in open court.  I'm speculating that the real reason this was swept under the rug is that none other than the former chief justice of the Ninth Circuit, Alex Kozinski, was prepared to make the arguments on behalf of the plaintiffs, Citizens for Fair Representation (CFR).

But let me back up a bit.  It is relevant to know why this case is rotting in the Ninth Circuit to begin with.  The case was originally set in front of the Federal Court of the Eastern District of California.  The plaintiffs drew Justice Kimberly J. Mueller as the presiding judge.  During oral presentations, the judge was asked by plaintiffs' attorneys if the case is important and not frivolous.  She responded in the affirmative.  Judge Mueller then asked defendant's counsel if he believed that the question is important, and he stated that it is.  As a result, this was issued by the court:

14 MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy A. Waldrop for District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on 8/2/2017: In light of plaintiffs complaint and notice of requirement of three judge court, (ECF Nos.1, 12), the court has determined this case implicates 28 U.S. C. § 2284(a), providing for the convening of a three judge court. The court thereby DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to formally notify the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit of the pendency of this action, as 20 U.S.C. § 2284(b)(1) requires, so that he may appoint a three-judge court. SO ORDERED.

It is important to note that all voting rights cases are to be heard by a three-judge court, and any appeals go straight to the Supreme Court, and that court must hear the case.  As such, after some scrambling by California, Justice Mueller rescinded her previous Minute Order with the following:

22 MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy C. Schultz for District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller: Upon consideration of the parties' filings relating to the question of whether a three judge court need be convened to resolve defendant's pending motion to dismiss and plaintiffs' pending motion to amend, the court has determined that it is premature to request the convening of such a court prior to this court's threshold determination of jurisdiction and justiciability. See Shapiro V. McManus, 136 S. Ct. 450, 455 (2015). Defendant's ex parte application for reconsideration (ECF [15]) is granted to the extent the direction to the clerk of the Court at ECF 14 is WITHDRAWN until the court has resolved the pending motions. The August 25, 2017 hearing on the application for reconsideration is VACATED.

What you may not understand is that this simple Minute Order is of historical importance.  Never in the history of these United States has a judge appointed a three-judge court, then rescinded the order.  When asked why, Justice Mueller responded that after consulting with others on the court, she changed her original ruling.  This is significant, as she cannot "consult" with others who did not sit in attendance at the trial at hand.  This would mean that others would aid in a ruling who did not have full knowledge of the information and proceedings.  After forcing a couple of amended complaints by the plaintiffs, Judge Mueller finally dismissed the case with prejudice.

So, as it stands today, the CFR plaintiffs wait for a back-office ruling from the Ninth Circuit.  What the public missed was a wholesale shredding of the corrupt nature of this case and Justice Mueller's beyond questionable handling of the same.  We the People missed the opportunity to hear the former chief justice of the Ninth Circuit bring to light the vile contempt of a politicized court abusing the citizens of California.  Our esteemed third branch of government hides under the cover of "judicial procedure" to save the much-needed embarrassment of an Obama appointee who once sat as a member of the Sacramento City Council.  To read the brief of former presiding justice Kozinski, follow this link.

This case is of extreme importance.  The population of California has exploded; the upcoming Census will show that we have topped 40 million.  If this case is tossed on the dust bin of history, more Californians will be represented by the same 80/40 legislature, whose membership was fixed back in the 1860s so that American Indians and persons of Chinese descent could not hold these seats.  What is of equal importance is reconciling the activist decisions of an early 1960s Supreme Court, who made all sorts of opinions on voting rights (Reynolds v. Sims, Gray v. Sanders) and now shut out voting rights cases using these cases as a base.

Steven Baird is a two-time failed candidate for California's 1st Senate District, which is larger than the State of West Virginia.  Mr. Baird is also a plaintiff in this case and the author of My Kvetch – True Confessions of a Democrat Politician.

This is so far under the radar that you are guaranteed never to hear about it.  A landmark case is crawling its way through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and no one is the wiser.  California's secretary of state and attorney general want it that way.

The case is number 18-17458, titled Citizens for Fair Representation v. Alex Padilla.  On March 6, 2020, in Courtroom 1, Third Floor, Room 338, James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, San Francisco at 9:30 A.M., you were supposed to be able hear oral arguments on how one state senator cannot effectively represent one million Californians and how one state Assembly member cannot represent 500,000 Californians.  The basis of this claim is invidious discrimination that has prevented certain minorities from ever having held one of these seats in the Legislature, since its membership is fixed at 40 and 80, respectively.

Why were you not able to hear oral arguments?  Well, the Ninth Circuit felt that enough information had been provided by both parties in the case that the court could make a ruling without hearing them in open court.  I'm speculating that the real reason this was swept under the rug is that none other than the former chief justice of the Ninth Circuit, Alex Kozinski, was prepared to make the arguments on behalf of the plaintiffs, Citizens for Fair Representation (CFR).

But let me back up a bit.  It is relevant to know why this case is rotting in the Ninth Circuit to begin with.  The case was originally set in front of the Federal Court of the Eastern District of California.  The plaintiffs drew Justice Kimberly J. Mueller as the presiding judge.  During oral presentations, the judge was asked by plaintiffs' attorneys if the case is important and not frivolous.  She responded in the affirmative.  Judge Mueller then asked defendant's counsel if he believed that the question is important, and he stated that it is.  As a result, this was issued by the court:

14 MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy A. Waldrop for District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on 8/2/2017: In light of plaintiffs complaint and notice of requirement of three judge court, (ECF Nos.1, 12), the court has determined this case implicates 28 U.S. C. § 2284(a), providing for the convening of a three judge court. The court thereby DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to formally notify the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit of the pendency of this action, as 20 U.S.C. § 2284(b)(1) requires, so that he may appoint a three-judge court. SO ORDERED.

It is important to note that all voting rights cases are to be heard by a three-judge court, and any appeals go straight to the Supreme Court, and that court must hear the case.  As such, after some scrambling by California, Justice Mueller rescinded her previous Minute Order with the following:

22 MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy C. Schultz for District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller: Upon consideration of the parties' filings relating to the question of whether a three judge court need be convened to resolve defendant's pending motion to dismiss and plaintiffs' pending motion to amend, the court has determined that it is premature to request the convening of such a court prior to this court's threshold determination of jurisdiction and justiciability. See Shapiro V. McManus, 136 S. Ct. 450, 455 (2015). Defendant's ex parte application for reconsideration (ECF [15]) is granted to the extent the direction to the clerk of the Court at ECF 14 is WITHDRAWN until the court has resolved the pending motions. The August 25, 2017 hearing on the application for reconsideration is VACATED.

What you may not understand is that this simple Minute Order is of historical importance.  Never in the history of these United States has a judge appointed a three-judge court, then rescinded the order.  When asked why, Justice Mueller responded that after consulting with others on the court, she changed her original ruling.  This is significant, as she cannot "consult" with others who did not sit in attendance at the trial at hand.  This would mean that others would aid in a ruling who did not have full knowledge of the information and proceedings.  After forcing a couple of amended complaints by the plaintiffs, Judge Mueller finally dismissed the case with prejudice.

So, as it stands today, the CFR plaintiffs wait for a back-office ruling from the Ninth Circuit.  What the public missed was a wholesale shredding of the corrupt nature of this case and Justice Mueller's beyond questionable handling of the same.  We the People missed the opportunity to hear the former chief justice of the Ninth Circuit bring to light the vile contempt of a politicized court abusing the citizens of California.  Our esteemed third branch of government hides under the cover of "judicial procedure" to save the much-needed embarrassment of an Obama appointee who once sat as a member of the Sacramento City Council.  To read the brief of former presiding justice Kozinski, follow this link.

This case is of extreme importance.  The population of California has exploded; the upcoming Census will show that we have topped 40 million.  If this case is tossed on the dust bin of history, more Californians will be represented by the same 80/40 legislature, whose membership was fixed back in the 1860s so that American Indians and persons of Chinese descent could not hold these seats.  What is of equal importance is reconciling the activist decisions of an early 1960s Supreme Court, who made all sorts of opinions on voting rights (Reynolds v. Sims, Gray v. Sanders) and now shut out voting rights cases using these cases as a base.

Steven Baird is a two-time failed candidate for California's 1st Senate District, which is larger than the State of West Virginia.  Mr. Baird is also a plaintiff in this case and the author of My Kvetch – True Confessions of a Democrat Politician.