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Litigation We’re Watching

Moore v. Harper – (U.S. Supreme Court, No. 21-1271). In early 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court rejected the legislatively adopted maps for state legislative and congressional districts. After rejecting a second version of congressional map submitted by the legislature, the court ultimately adopted congressional maps drawn by court-appointed special masters. The appeal to the US Supreme Court debated the question whether the Elections Clause in the United States Constitution (art. I, § 4, cl. 1) requires only a “legislature” to adopt a congressional map, and whether a state court may review the actions of legislatures pertaining to federal elections. The Court held that the Elections Clause of the Constitution did not grant state legislatures powers to conduct elections unrestrained by state constitutions and state courts. The Court held that since the founding of the country, state legislatures have been bound by their own constitutions and federal laws. The language in the Elections Clause never granted legislatures the power to avoid review by state courts under state law.

News from Election and Ethics Agencies

Fair Political Practices Commission News – In June, the Fair Political Practices Commission adopted a regulatory packet pertaining to the Levine Act, Government Code Section 84308. The adopted language reflects changes and discussions from the Commission’s February meeting. After the adoption of the Levine Act regulations, the Commission released proposed changes to Campaign Disclosure Manual 1 and Manual 2 , which reflect changes as a result of the new regulations, along with various other changes reflecting new legislation. The Commission will consider adopting the updated manuals at its August Commission meeting.

New Legislation

State Legislation – July 14 is the last day for policy committees to meet and report bills. The Legislature will be on summer recess from July 15 to August 14. Chaptered Bill – SB 25: was signed into law on June 29, 2023, and permits a candidate who will not be in California during the candidate nomination period to appear before a notary public of another state to complete their declaration of candidacy.