The 2001 California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”) made it easier for minority groups to prove that local electoral systems undermine their voting power. Appellate courts have adopted different interpretations of what constitutes minority vote dilution. In Pico Neighborhood Ass’n v. City of Santa Monica (Aug. 24, 2023), the California Supreme Court found that vote dilution under the CVRA requires more than racially polarized voting.
On August 8, 2023, in Lacy v. City and County of San Francisco (Aug. 8, 2023, A165899) Cal.App.5th, the California Court of Appeal for the First District upheld San Francisco’s Charter provision permitting noncitizen parents or guardians of children to vote in San Francisco school board elections.
On July 21, 2023, the California Court of Appeal for the First District, in Coalition on Homelessness v. City and County of San Francisco, 93 Cal.App.5th 928 (2023), held that San Francisco cannot tow safely and lawfully parked vehicles, without a warrant, solely because of unpaid parking tickets.
On August 2, 2023, Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit organization focusing on consumer advocacy, submitted a proposed November 2024 ballot measure to the California Attorney General that would, among other amendments, make numerous changes to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). According to news reports, Consumer Watchdog has budgeted $5 million to support the qualification of the measure for the fall 2024 ballot.
Ninth Circuit Strikes Down California Law Restricting Campaign Fundraising by Local Government Employees
On July 19, 2023, in Progressive Democrats for Social Justice vs. Bonta, the Ninth Circuit ruled that California Government Code Section 3205—which prohibits local government employees from soliciting campaign contributions from their co-workers—violates the First Amendment.
Effective January 1, 2023, SB 1439 imposes the existing limits on campaign contributions solicited or received in Government Code Section 84308 on local elected officers. Previously, the limits applied only to appointed officers. This notable expansion has drawn newfound attention to the scope of Section 84308’s definitions and restrictions.
EEOC Provides Guidance on Assessing the Adverse Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Employment Selection Procedures
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued guidance regarding the use of software, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) in employers’ “selection procedures,” in other words, employment decisions related to hiring, promotion and firing. Learn more from RPLG Senior Counsel Spencer Wilson and Associate Anastasia Bondarchuk.
On June 5, our 2023 class of Renne Public Law Group (RPLG) fellows completed their public law programming, which encompassed 10 days of engaging speaker sessions, research projects and valuable mentorship opportunities.
Beginning June 27, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) expands protections for pregnant employees and job applicants. The PWFA is a new federal law that requires private and public sector employers with at least 15 employees to provide “reasonable accommodations” to known limitations related to qualified employees’ and job applicants’ pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on business operations.
California Supreme Court Limits Governmental Immunity Statute That California Courts of Appeal Had Read More Broadly
The California Supreme Court recently rejected the Court of Appeal’s broad reading of Government Code section 821.6, which shields public employees acting within the scope of their employment from liability for “instituting or prosecuting any judicial or administrative proceeding” even if the action is “malicious and without probable cause.” The purpose of the statute is to protect public officials from malicious prosecution actions, but the plain language is broad enough to cover other types of tortious conduct.