I wanted to provide a quick update on what is going on in the lawsuits involving ABX1 26 and ABX1 27.  For those trying to keep score on who stands where, the following is a list of the amicus briefs that have been filed. 

In support of the CRA / League of Cities’ position, seeking to overturn the laws:

  • Association of California Cities – Orange
  • City of Irvine
  • Long Beach
  • Public Interest Law Western Center
  • San Bernardino County
  • Southern California Coalition
  • Southern California Non Profit Housing
  • Riverside County

In support of the State’s position, seeking to uphold the laws:

  • Affordable Housing Advocates
  • California Professional Firefighters
  • Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
  • California Teachers Association 
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • MORR – Chris Norby
  • Santa Clara Unified School District

Next, we have a new lawsuit entering the fray.   Last week, a group of 10 Southern California cities filed a lawsuit seeking to strike down ABX1 26 and ABX1 27.  This lawsuit, filed in Superior Court, would seem at first glace to be a bit late to the party.  After all, the Supreme Court has already accepted jurisdiction over the original lawsuit, promising a decision by January.

So what is the point of a new filing in Superior Court?  Perhaps there is none.  The State responded almost immediately, filing a notice of related cases and noting for the Court that the case encompasses issues pending before the California Supreme Court and may become moot before any action is taken. 

But there may be a bit more to it.  The new lawsuit indeed raises the very same arguments as those being made in the Supreme Court.  But the new lawsuit also raises some additional grounds for striking down the laws – 14 claims of invalidity in total – including claims that the bills:

  1. Did not qualify for passage on a majority-vote basis.
  2. Exceeded the scope of the "special session" in which they were passed.
  3. Did not meet the requirements necessary to take effect immediately.
  4. Endanger existing contracts.  

And one final update.  Yesterday, Governor Brown vetoed SB 450, a bill proposed by Senator Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach that would have made changes in Low and Moderate Income Housing funds managed by redevelopment agencies.  But before anyone thinks Governor Brown may be changing his mind, his veto message for SB 450 makes clear that the veto is tied to the pending Supreme Court case, which makes the bill "a little ahead of its time."