This week, the first round of legal papers on California’s new Top Two Primary was filed in an influential federal appeals court. On January 31, 2012, Michael Chamness, Daniel Frederick, and Rich Wilson filed their Opening Brief, which you can read here. You can also access a number of background documents here.
Our Brief shows that California’s Top Two Primary Law violated the rights of Californians in two troubling ways. First, it unconstitutionally violated the rights of minor-party candidates, by forcing them to falsely state on the ballot that they have “No Party Preference”. Second, the Top Two Primary law disenfranchised all voters who cast write-in votes in the general election.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who is being represented by Attorney General Kamala Harris, will file her opposition papers on March 1, 2012. We will then file our Reply Brief on March 15, 2012.
The U.S. Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) has not yet indicated when it will hear this case.
Update (Mar. 16, 2012): Yesterday Plaintiffs Michael Chamness, Daniel Frederick, and Rich Wilson filed their Reply Brief, which you can access here. You can also access a number of background documents here.
– Gautam Dutta