Manatt Helps Secure Settlement in San Luis Obispo County Redistricting Dispute

On behalf of its pro bono client the League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County (“League”), a team of Manatt lawyers, including Ronald Turovsky and Joanna McCallum, successfully challenged and overturned the adoption of a supervisorial district map adopted in December 2021 by the SLO County Board of Supervisors.

The League alleged that the map, known as the Patten Map, violated California’s FAIR MAPS Act and the California Constitution. In SLO County Citizens for Good Government v. County of San Luis Obispo, the League (which had successfully intervened in an existing lawsuit) alleged that the Patten Map was designed to and did favor one political party over another, deferred and diluted the rights of voters registered with one political party, and interfered with established communities of interest in the County. After substantial litigation, the County agreed to enter into a settlement requiring the Board to set aside adoption of the Patten Map and to adopt a new district map that complies with the requirements of the FAIR MAPS Act and the California Constitution by no later than May 15, 2023.

The case was originally filed by SLO County Citizens for Good Government. In February 2022, the court found that the petitioners had established a reasonable probability of prevailing on their claim for violation of the FAIR MAPS Act because the Board failed to consider evidence of the partisan impact of the Patten Map but declined to invalidate the Patten Map or issue an injunction at that time. After that, the League requested and was granted leave to intervene in order to join in the litigation. The League and petitioners worked together to seek to invalidate the adoption of the Patten Map, ultimately leading to resolution of the lawsuit through settlement.

Learn more about the case here.

On May 20, 2023, the League received the 2023 Leaning into League Power Award by the League of Women Voters of California for its work on this case and lauded Turovsky’s and McCallum’s contributions that were “essential” to the lawsuit’s successful resolution.

Learn more about this award here.



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