City statement on California Supreme Court opinion in CVRA case

August 24, 2023 11:57 AM

The California Supreme Court today issued an opinion in the California Voting Rights Act case Pico Neighborhood Association, et al., v. City of Santa Monica, referring the case back to the Court of Appeal for further proceedings.

The City is reviewing the Supreme Court’s opinion and working to assess the path forward.

Read the full ruling here.

Case Background

In April 2016, plaintiffs Pico Neighborhood Association, Maria Loya, and Advocates for Malibu Public Schools filed a complaint in the California Superior Court alleging that Santa Monica’s at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution.

Santa Monica has had at-large elections since 1915, and the current at-large election system was adopted by the voters in 1946.

On February 15, 2019, the court issued a final judgment in the case, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. The City filed an appeal in the case on February 22, 2019. The Court of Appeal issued its opinion in the case, ruling in favor of the City.

The plaintiffs filed a petition for review by the California Supreme Court on August 18, 2020, and the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on October 21, 2020. On August 24, 2023, the California Supreme Court returned the case to the Court of Appeals.

Additional information about the case can be found here:

Media Contact

Lauren Howland
Communications and public information manager


City Attorney's Office