756 F.Supp. 1298 (C.D.Cal. 1990), CV 88-5143, Garza v. County of Los Angeles, California.

Docket NºNos. CV 88-5143 KN(Ex), CV 88-5435 KN(Ex).
Citation756 F.Supp. 1298
Party NameYolanda GARZA, et al., Plaintiffs, United States of America, Plaintiff, v. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, et al., Defendants, Lawrence K. Irvin, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors.
Case DateJune 04, 1990
CourtUnited States District Courts, 9th Circuit, United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California

Page 1298

756 F.Supp. 1298 (C.D.Cal. 1990)

Yolanda GARZA, et al., Plaintiffs,

United States of America, Plaintiff,

v.

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, et al., Defendants,

Lawrence K. Irvin, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors.

Nos. CV 88-5143 KN(Ex), CV 88-5435 KN(Ex).

United States District Court, C.D. California.

June 4, 1990

As Corrected May 14, 1991.

Page 1299

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1300

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1301

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Douglas E. Mirell, Richard S. Amador, Los Angeles, Cal., Joaquin Avila, Milpitas, Cal., Mark D. Rosenbaum, Paul L. Hoffman, Robin Toma and Richard P. Fajardo, Antonia Hernandez, Judith Sanders-Castro, E. Richard Larson, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Los Angeles, Cal., for plaintiffs.

Dewitt W. Clinton, County Counsel of Los Angeles, Mary Wawro, Senior Asst. County Counsel, Richard K. Simon, Lee L. Blackman, Erich R. Luschei, McDermott, Will & Emery, John E. McDermott, Richard C. Field, Evan M. Eisland, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Los Angeles, Cal., for defendants.

Steven H. Rosenbaum, Sheila K. Delaney, Robert S. Berman, Robert A. Kengle, Gaye L. Hume, Anthony Chavez, Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., for plaintiff U.S.

Nyisha Shakur, NAACP Special Contrib. Fund, Bill Lann Lee, Theodore M. Shaw, Patrick O. Patterson, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Los Angeles, Cal., for Lawrence K. Irvin, et al.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS 1303

  1. FINDINGS OF FACT

    A. THE PARTIES 1305

    1. THE CLAIMS 1306

    2. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

      1. History of the Governing Body 1306

      1. Demographics of Los Angeles County 1307

      2. Campaign Financing 1308

      3. Prior Redistrictings 1309

      (a) 1959 Redistricting 1309

      (b) 1963 Redistricting 1310

      (c) 1965 Redistricting 1310

      (d) 1971 Redistricting 1311

      (1) Intent of Past Redistrictings 1312

      (e) 1972 Los Angeles City Council Redistricting 1313

      (f) 1981 Redistricting 1313

      (1) Intent of 1981 Redistricting 1317

    3. SIZE AND GEOGRAPHIC COMPACTNESS OF HISPANIC COMMUNITY

      1. 1980 Census Data 1318

      1. Growth in Hispanic Population Since 1980 1319

      2. Accuracy of Post"Census Data 1320

        (a) Reliability of PEPS Data 1321

      3. Citizen Voting 1322

        Age

        Population

      4. Voter 1323

        Registration

        and Turnout

      5. Misreporting of Citizenship 1323

      6. Undercount of Hispanics 1325

      7. Spanish"Surname/Spanish"Origin 1325

        (a) Adjustments for 'European Spanish' 1326

      8. Deadwood 1327

      9. Plaintiffs' Illustrative Plans 1328

        (a) The Grofman Plans 1328

        (b) The Estrada Plans 1328

    4. POLITICAL COHESIVENESS

      1. Hispanic Candidacies in Los Angeles County 1978"1989

      (a) Contests for Los Angeles County Supervisor 1328

      (b) Other Nonpartisan County Contests 1329

      (c) Non"Countywide Elections 1330

      (d) Countywide Partisan Elections 1331

      1. Analysis of Ethnically Polarized Voting

        (a) Methodology 1331

        (b) Results of Analysis 1333

      2. Cohesiveness of Hispanic Voters 1335

    5. NON"HISPANIC BLOC VOTING 1337

    6. OTHER SENATE FACTORS

      1. History of Official Discrimination 1339

      (a) Repatriation 1340

      (b) Education 1340

      (c) Public Facilities 1340

      (d) Right to Vote 1340

      1. Racial Appeals 1341

      2. Size of Election Districts 1341

  2. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

    A. JURISDICTION 1342

    1. THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT 1342

      1. The Senate Factors 1342

      (a) Geographical Compactness 1344

      (1) Voting Age Population 1344

      (2) Current Population Data 1345

      (3) Estimates and Projections 1345

      (b) Political Cohesiveness 1345

      (1) Ecological Regression Analysis 1346

      (c) Racial Bloc Voting 1346

      (d) History of Discrimination 1347

      (e) Other Discriminatory Voting Practices 1348

      (f) Size of Election Districts 1348

      (g) Candidate Slating Process 1348

      (h) Lingering Effects of Past Discrimination 1348

      (i) Election of Minorities 1348

    2. DISCRIMINATORY RESULTS V. INTENT 1348

    3. INTER"DECENNIAL REDISTRICTING 1350

    4. TOTAL POPULATION AS APPORTIONMENT BASE 1350

    5. ONE PERSON ONE VOTE RULE 1350

    6. REAPPORTIONMENT 1351

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      Page 1303

      FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

      KENYON, District Judge.

      I. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

      The Court has spent the past several weeks since theconclusion of this trial on April 10, 1990, immersed in what the Supreme Court in Thornburg v. Gingles referred to as a "searching evaluation of 'past and present reality' " and on a " 'functional' view of the political process." 478 U.S. 30, 45, 106 S.Ct. 2752, 2764, 92 L.Ed.2d 25 (1986) citing S.Rep. at 30, n. 120, U.S. Code Cong. & Admin.News 1982, pp. 177, 208. The conclusion this Court reaches is that, on a fundamental level, the Hispanic community has sadly been denied an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect candidates of their choice to the Board of Supervisors for this burgeoning County.

      As the findings below set forth, plaintiffs have adequately demonstrated, based on

      Page 1304

      the totality of the circumstances, that the 1981 redistricting plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

      Specifically, the Court finds that the Hispanic community is sufficiently large and geographically compact such that a five district plan can be drawn in which Hispanics comprise a majority of the citizen voting age population in one of the five districts. The post-1980 estimates of citizen voting age population, based upon PEPS data and the special tabulation of voting age citizens by the Census Bureau, are reliable as an alternative means of proof that under current conditions it is possible to create a supervisorial district with an Hispanic citizen voting age population majority.

      Further, even if the Court were to use 1980 Census data, plaintiffs have established through illustrative plans that Hispanic voting age citizens had the potential to elect the candidate of their choice absent a clear citizen voting age majority. It would be myopic, on these facts and circumstances, for the Court to apply the bright line 50 percent requirement set forth by the Ninth Circuit in Romero v. City of Pomona, 883 F.2d 1418, 1426 (9th Cir.1989), as an absolute measure of undiluted minority voting strength. While this Court can imagine a number of circumstances in which the 50 percent figure is dispositive, as Justice O'Connor stated in her concurring opinion in Gingles:

      "[T]here is no indication that Congress intended to mandate a single, universally applicable standard for measuring undiluted minority voting strength, regardless of local conditions and regardless of the extent of past discrimination against minority voters in a particular State or political subdivision."

      478 U.S. at 94-95, 106 S.Ct. at 2789 (O'Connor, J., concurring).

      In this case, the explosive and continuous growth of the Los Angeles County Hispanic community was evident at the time of the adoption of the 1981 redistricting plan as was the steady decline of the County's non-Hispanic white population. These facts, coupled with a long and painful history of discrimination against Hispanics in this County weighs heavily in favor of the conclusion that even relying solely on the 1980 Census data, plaintiffs have met their burden under Gingles.

      The Court also finds that Hispanics are politically cohesive and that voting behavior is polarized between Hispanics and non-Hispanics. In particular, the Court concludes that Hispanic voters regularly provide overwhelming support for Hispanic candidates while the degree of non-Hispanic cross-over voting is minimal. Given the estimated levels of polarization, including the effects of non-Hispanic bloc voting, an Hispanic candidate is unable to be elected to the Board under the current configuration of supervisorial districts.

      During the 1981 redistricting process, the Supervisors' primary objective was to protect their incumbencies and that of their allies. This objective, however, was inescapably linked to the continued fragmentation of the Hispanic population core. The Court believes that had the Board found it possible to protect their incumbencies while increasing Hispanic voting strength, they would have acted to satisfy both objectives. As defendants' counsel argued in opening statement:

      "It was not, ... the case of a Republican protecting [his] incumbency against the Hispanic Republican. It was the Republican protecting himself or protecting his philosophical concerns and those of the ones who elected him from a change to a Democratic seat.... Now looking again to the motive of minority members on the Board of Supervisors. Again what you find is that it was not an effort by the Anglos to preclude Hispanics from getting elected.... It was not because of a desire on anyone's part to dilute or diffuse or to keep the Hispanic community powerless; it was because they could not find the way to do what everyone wanted to do. And that sometimes happens in politics."

      Page 1305

      It is undeniable, however, that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors knew that by adopting the 1981 redistricting plan, they were further impairing the ability of Hispanics to gain representation on the Board. The Court finds no legal justification for this form of discrimination based on the protection of supervisorial incumbencies.

      As the court stated in Rybicki v. State Board of Elections, 574 F.Supp. 1082, 1109 (N.D.Ill.1982), where the requirements of incumbency "are so closely intertwined with the need for racial dilution ... an intent to maintain a safe, primarily white, district ... is virtually coterminous with a purpose to practice racial discrimination." The Court finds, on the evidence presented, that the Supervisors acted with the intent to maintain the fragmentation of the...

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15 practice notes
  • Allocating the local apportionment pie: what portion for resident aliens?
    • United States
    • Yale Law Journal Vol. 104 Nbr. 6, April - April 1995
    • 1 Abril 1995
    ...Mireya Navarro, Florida's Plea for Immigration Relief Fails, N.Y. Times, Dec. 21, 1994, at A20. (13.) Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 756 F. Supp. 1298 (C.D. Cal.), aff'd, 918 F.2d 763 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1028 (1991) [hereinafter Garza]; De Grandy v. Wetherell, 815 F. Su......
  • Colorblind Injustice: Minority Voting Rights and the Undoing of the Second Reconstruction.
    • United States
    • Michigan Law Review Vol. 99 Nbr. 6, May 2001
    • 1 Mayo 2001
    ...990, 997 (S.D. Ca. 1992), aff'd per curium, No. 92-55661, 1993 WL 379838 (4th Cir. Sept. 27, 1993); Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 756 F. Supp. 1298, 1309 (C.D. Cal. 1990); Harry v. Bladen County, 1989 WL 253428, at *2 (E.D.N.C. Dec. 11, 1989); Brown v. Bd. of Comm'rs, 722 F. Supp. 380, 39......
  • Two section twos and two section fives: voting rights and remedies after Flores.
    • United States
    • William and Mary Law Review Vol. 39 Nbr. 3, February 1998
    • 1 Febrero 1998
    ...1983) (three-judge court). (51.) Id. at 352. (52.) See S. REP. NO. 97-417, at 11 (1982), reprinted in 1982 U.S.C.C.A.N. 177, 188. (53.) 756 F. Supp. 1298 (C.D. Cal.), aff'd, 918 F.2d 763 (9th Cir. 1990). (54.) Id. at 1305; see id. at 1312, 1317-18 (discussing evidence of a discriminatory pu......
  • County of Los Angeles v. State, 011420 CAAPP2, B290091
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • 14 Enero 2020
    ...so changed as to affect the incumbency in office of any supervisor.” (See Garza v. County of Los Angeles (C.D.Cal. 1990) 756 F.Supp. 1298, 1306 (Garza I).)3 Los Angeles County has an acknowledged history of racial discrimination in the way its Board has drawn d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • County of Los Angeles v. State, 011420 CAAPP2, B290091
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • 14 Enero 2020
    ...so changed as to affect the incumbency in office of any supervisor.” (See Garza v. County of Los Angeles (C.D.Cal. 1990) 756 F.Supp. 1298, 1306 (Garza I).)3 Los Angeles County has an acknowledged history of racial discrimination in the way its Board has drawn d......
  • 780 F.Supp. 221 (D.Del. 1991), Civ. A. 89-230, Jenkins v. Red Clay Consol. School Dist. Bd. of Educ.
    • United States
    • United States District Court (Delaware)
    • 27 Diciembre 1991
    ...large when compared to districts in other reported section 2 cases. For example, the district in Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 756 F.Supp. 1298, 1341-42 (C.D.Cal.1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1028, 111 S.Ct. 681, 112 L.Ed.2d 673 (1991), was twice the size of the State of Delaware. Incumbe......
  • Thomas v. Bryant, 090319 FED5, 19-60133
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 3 Septiembre 2019
    ...deadline, five months before primaries, and seven months before general election). [61] See Garza v. Cty. of Los Angeles, 756 F.Supp. 1298, 1303 (C.D. Cal. 1990), aff'd in relevant part, 918 F.2d 763, 772 (9th Cir. 1990) (rejecting laches in suit that went to trial six&#......
  • 336 F.Supp.2d 976 (D.S.D. 2004), Civ. 01-3032, Shirt v. Hazeltine
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. District of South Dakota
    • 15 Septiembre 2004
    ...considered defendants' attack on the degree of bias in the ecological regression technique and the R-squared correlation coefficient. 756 F.Supp. 1298, 1334 (C.D.Cal.1990). The court concluded that ecological regression was sufficiently reliable to determine racial polarization in voting. I......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Allocating the local apportionment pie: what portion for resident aliens?
    • United States
    • Yale Law Journal Vol. 104 Nbr. 6, April - April 1995
    • 1 Abril 1995
    ...Mireya Navarro, Florida's Plea for Immigration Relief Fails, N.Y. Times, Dec. 21, 1994, at A20. (13.) Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 756 F. Supp. 1298 (C.D. Cal.), aff'd, 918 F.2d 763 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1028 (1991) [hereinafter Garza]; De Grandy v. Wetherell, 815 F. Su......
  • Colorblind Injustice: Minority Voting Rights and the Undoing of the Second Reconstruction.
    • United States
    • Michigan Law Review Vol. 99 Nbr. 6, May 2001
    • 1 Mayo 2001
    ...990, 997 (S.D. Ca. 1992), aff'd per curium, No. 92-55661, 1993 WL 379838 (4th Cir. Sept. 27, 1993); Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 756 F. Supp. 1298, 1309 (C.D. Cal. 1990); Harry v. Bladen County, 1989 WL 253428, at *2 (E.D.N.C. Dec. 11, 1989); Brown v. Bd. of Comm'rs, 722 F. Supp. 380, 39......
  • Two section twos and two section fives: voting rights and remedies after Flores.
    • United States
    • William and Mary Law Review Vol. 39 Nbr. 3, February 1998
    • 1 Febrero 1998
    ...1983) (three-judge court). (51.) Id. at 352. (52.) See S. REP. NO. 97-417, at 11 (1982), reprinted in 1982 U.S.C.C.A.N. 177, 188. (53.) 756 F. Supp. 1298 (C.D. Cal.), aff'd, 918 F.2d 763 (9th Cir. 1990). (54.) Id. at 1305; see id. at 1312, 1317-18 (discussing evidence of a discriminatory pu......

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