- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Civil Rights § 1983
- Date Filed: 11-29-2022
- Case #: 21-56337
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Watford, C.J., for the Court; Scannlain, C.J.; & Hurwitz, C.J.
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner brought an action seeking to enjoin California’s 2021 Governor, recall election, arguing that the two question recall ballot violated his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Cal. Elec. Code § 11320(a), 11384. The district court denied the request for a preliminary injunction, and dismissed the complaint for failing to demonstrate a likelihood of success. On appeal, Petitioner contends the procedure violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s one-person, one-vote principle, because he is unable to vote for the governor as their own successor, if recalled. Cal. Const. art. II, § 15(c). Petitioner might have a claim, if those who vote to keep the sitting governor were also barred from voting for a successor if successfully recalled, but that is not the case. See Rodriguez v. Newsom, 974 F.3d 998, 1004–05 (9th Cir. 2020). The prohibition on voting for the sitting governor as their own replacement is not a severe restriction on the right to vote; similar to a term limit, the restriction is a “neutral candidacy qualification” with no distinction based on a protected class or arbitrary factor. Bates v. Jones, 131 F.3d 843, 847 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc); see Burdick v. Takushi, 504 U.S. 428, 434 (1992). Affirmed.