Attorneys filed papers Wednesday in Los Angeles in opposition to a lawsuit seeking to have the gubernatorial recall election called off or the ballot drastically changed before the Sept. 14 deadline to submit ballots.
Lawyers for California voters Carla Endow, Lisa Long and Marllus Gandrud filed the motion in federal court to intervene in litigation brought by two other voters against Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who is conducting the recall election.
The Aug. 14 lawsuit filed on behalf of plaintiffs Rex Julian Beaber and A.W. Clark seeks a preliminary injunction to halt the recall election or — falling short of that — to add Gov. Gavin Newsom to the ballot as a candidate.
The suit argues that the state’s recall provision violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by allowing sitting governors to be replaced by candidates who have received fewer votes. Over 1 million ballots have been received by election officials.
Weber “has made it clear publicly that she questions the legality of the recall, and it is reasonable to believe that she won’t defend the 110-year- old recall process as vigorously in court as it deserves, so we hope the court allows us to intervene on behalf of the interests of millions of Californians that this administration routinely ignores,” said attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon, who filed the motion to intervene.
“Moreover, our clients are citizens who have already voted, and as such they have a different interest in the outcome of this dispute than do the government officials appointed by Gavin Newsom, the target of the recall, who are charged with defending state law,” he said.
According to the lawsuit, Weber has said there are “some serious problems” with California’s recall laws and that she believes that replacement candidates should not win the recall election with a plurality vote even though that is in the state Constitution.
The motion also questions Weber’s motives, stating that she was appointed to her position “just seven months ago by the governor — the official who is the target of the recall election,” according to Dhillon.
The federal lawsuit argues that the way the ballot is set up creates an unfair advantage for Newsom’s opponents, violating the “one person, one vote” principle because Newsom can’t be selected as a candidate.
The lawsuit also argues that Newsom could receive more votes than any other candidate, but still be removed from office and replaced with someone who received fewer votes.