On Thursday, a federal judge will give the first public airing of a lawsuit challenging the particular methodology of San Francisco’s Ranked Choice Voting system. Part of the hearing should determine whether the court will accept the Friend of the Court (Amicus Curiae) brief submitted by the Political Reform Program.
As we have previously pointed out, the lawsuit unbelievably asserts that San Francisco’s Ranked Choice Voting system—which allows voters to vote for three candidates at a time—is somehow constitutionally defective because it doesn’t give voters enough choices.
Our Amicus brief rather pointedly challenges this absurd contention and carefully deconstructs the plaintiffs’ case. Not only do the plaintiffs have a rather heavy burden to bear—courts don’t lightly toss aside either voter-approved initiatives or proven electoral methods—but two state supreme courts have tossed out nearly identical challenges. In lay terms let’s say this: the plaintiffs are skating on thin ice. On a warm day.
Complicating matters for the proponents of this left-field long-shot is the fact that they have built their case around the Declaration of an “expert” who has proven—in a rather embarrassingly public fashion—to know almost nothing about the realities of San Francisco elections. A true expert on San Francisco politics, Richard DeLeon, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University and author of Left Coast City, deemed the Declaration submitted by the plaintiffs’ expert to be “based on a superficial analysis of inadequate and incomplete data leading to conclusions that are highly questionable, misleading, and untrustworthy.”
Federal District Court Judge Richard Seeborg will hear the case on April Fools’ Day. ‘nuff said.