California Constitution/ARTICLE XXI
ARTICLE 21 REDISTRICTING OF SENATE, ASSEMBLY, CONGRESSIONAL AND BOARD OF EQUALIZATION DISTRICTS
In the year following the year in which the national census is taken under the direction of Congress at the beginning of each decade, the Legislature shall adjust the boundary lines of congressional districts in conformance with the following standards and process:
- (a) Each member of Congress shall be elected from a single-member district.
- (b) The population of all congressional districts shall be reasonably equal. After following this criterion, the Legislature shall adjust the boundary lines according to the criteria set forth and prioritized in paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) of subdivision (d) of Section 2. The Legislature shall issue, with its final map, a report that explains the basis on which it made its decisions in achieving compliance with these criteria and shall include definitions of the terms and standards used in drawing its final map.
- (c) Congressional districts shall be numbered consecutively commencing at the northern boundary of the State and ending at the southern boundary.
- (d) The Legislature shall coordinate with the Citizens Redistricting Commission established pursuant to Section 2 to hold concurrent hearings, provide access to redistricting data and software, and otherwise ensure full public participation in the redistricting process. The Legislature shall comply with the open hearing requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (7) of subdivision (a) of, and subdivision (b) of, Section 8253 of the Government Code, or its successor provisions of statute.
(a) The Citizens Redistricting Commission shall draw new district lines (also known as "redistricting") for State Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization districts. This commission shall be created no later than December 31 in 2010, and in each year ending in the number zero thereafter.
(b) The Citizens Redistricting Commission (hereinafter the "commission") shall: (1) conduct an open and transparent process enabling full public consideration of and comment on the drawing of district lines; (2) draw district lines according to the redistricting criteria specified in this article; and (3) conduct themselves with integrity and fairness.
(c) (1) The selection process is designed to produce a Citizens Redistricting Commission that is independent from legislative influence and reasonably representative of this State's diversity.
- (2) The Citizens Redistricting Commission shall consist of 14 members, as follows: five who are registered with the largest political party in California based on registration, five who are registered with the second largest political party in California based on registration, and four who are not registered with either of the two largest political parties in California based on registration.
- (3) Each commission member shall be a voter who has been continuously registered in California with the same political party or unaffiliated with a political party and who has not changed political party affiliation for five or more years immediately preceding the date of his or her appointment. Each commission member shall have voted in two of the last three statewide general elections immediately preceding his or her application.
- (4) The term of office of each member of the commission expires upon the appointment of the first member of the succeeding commission.
- (5) Nine members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. Nine or more affirmative votes shall be required for any official action. The three final maps must be approved by at least nine affirmative votes which must include at least three votes of members registered from each of the two largest political parties in California based on registration and three votes from members who are not registered with either of these two political parties.
- (6) Each commission member shall apply this article in a manner that is impartial and that reinforces public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process. A commission member shall be ineligible for a period of 10 years beginning from the date of appointment to hold elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in this State. A member of the commission shall be ineligible for a period of five years beginning from the date of appointment to hold appointive federal, state, or local public office, to serve as paid staff for the Legislature or any individual legislator or to register as a federal, state, or local lobbyist in this State.
(d) The commission shall establish single-member districts for the Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization pursuant to a mapping process using the following criteria as set forth in the following order of priority:
- (1) Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution. Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts shall have reasonably equal population with other districts for the same office, except where deviation is required to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act or allowable by law.
- (2) Districts shall comply with the federal Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1971 and following).
- (3) Districts shall be geographically contiguous.
- (4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, neighborhood, or community of interest shall be respected to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.
- (5) To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, districts shall be drawn to encourage geographical compactness such that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for more distant population.
- (6) To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, each Senate district shall be comprised of two whole, complete, and adjacent Assembly districts, and each Board of Equalization district shall be comprised of 10 whole, complete, and adjacent Senate districts.
(e) The place of residence of any incumbent or political candidate shall not be considered in the creation of a map. Districts shall not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political candidate, or political party.
(f) Districts for the Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization shall be numbered consecutively commencing at the northern boundary of the State and ending at the southern boundary.
(g) By September 15 in 2011, and in each year ending in the number one thereafter, the commission shall approve three final maps that separately set forth the district boundary lines for the Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. Upon approval, the commission shall certify the three final maps to the Secretary of State.
(h) The commission shall issue, with each of the three final maps, a report that explains the basis on which the commission made its decisions in achieving compliance with the criteria listed in subdivision (d) and shall include definitions of the terms and standards used in drawing each final map.
(i) Each certified final map shall be subject to referendum in the same manner that a statute is subject to referendum pursuant to Section 9 of Article II. The date of certification of a final map to the Secretary of State shall be deemed the enactment date for purposes of Section 9 of Article II.
(j) If the commission does not approve a final map by at least the requisite votes or if voters disapprove a certified final map in a referendum, the Secretary of State shall immediately petition the Supreme Court for an order directing the appointment of special masters to adjust the boundary lines of that map in accordance with the redistricting criteria and requirements set forth in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f). Upon its approval of the masters' map, the court shall certify the resulting map to the Secretary of State, which map shall constitute the certified final map for the subject type of district.
(a) The commission has the sole legal standing to defend any action regarding a certified final map, and shall inform the Legislature if it determines that funds or other resources provided for the operation of the commission are not adequate. The Legislature shall provide adequate funding to defend any action regarding a certified map. The commission has sole authority to determine whether the Attorney General or other legal counsel retained by the commission shall assist in the defense of a certified final map.
(b) (1) The Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction in all proceedings in which a certified final map is challenged.
- (2) Any registered voter in this state may file a petition for a writ of mandate or writ of prohibition, within 45 days after the commission has certified a final map to the Secretary of State, to bar the Secretary of State from implementing the plan on the grounds that the filed plan violates this Constitution, the United States Constitution, or any federal or state statute.
- (3) The Supreme Court shall give priority to ruling on a petition for a writ of mandate or a writ of prohibition filed pursuant to paragraph (2). If the court determines that a final certified map violates this Constitution, the United States Constitution, or any federal or state statute, the court shall fashion the relief that it deems appropriate.