On Monday, the Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments in two cases on June 27, including a high-profile, long-pending voting rights case, Pico Neighborhood Association v. City of Santa Monica. The other case is Camacho v. Superior Court, which is being continued from the June 6 calendar. The justices and counsel will be remotely participating in both arguments. Opinions in the two cases should file by September 25.

The late-June session is highly unusual. It’s very rare for cases to be heard other than at regularly scheduled times — i.e., during the first full week of the months September through June and during the last full week of May. The court held a special session in 2012 for a different voting case, that one about redistricting. There might have been a subsequent specially set hearing, but we can’t think of one.

Also unusual is the Camacho continuance, which came at the Attorney General’s request. The court’s routine oral argument letter warns counsel, “Once the court files an order setting this case for oral argument, that date will not be changed absent exceptional cause, such as a medical emergency.”

There’s one other unusual feature about the late-June arguments. Rule 8.524(c) requires “at least” 20 days’ notice of an argument and the court typically gives just the bare minimum notice. For the Pico Neighborhood and Camacho cases, however, counsel were informed of the arguments 36 days in advance.

On Tuesday, June 27, the court will hear these cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or limited by the court itself; additional information about each case can be found at the links showing when the court agreed to hear the case):

Camacho v. Superior Court: Does a 15-year delay in bringing a defendant to trial under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6600 et. seq) constitute a due process violation? The court granted review in May 2022.

Pico Neighborhood Association v. City of Santa Monica: When the court granted review and (uncommonly) depublished the Court of Appeal opinion in October 2020, it limited the issue to, “What must a plaintiff prove in order to establish vote dilution under the California Voting Rights Act?”


Rick Hasen on the Election Law Blog — California Supreme Court Will Hear Oral Argument in Santa Monica Voting Rights Case in June After All

“California Supreme Court Won’t Hear Oral Argument in Santa Monica Case over California Voting Rights Act until at Least September”

Also Rick Hasen — California State Appeals Court Sides with City of Santa Monica in Reversing in California Voting Rights Act Case, With Potentially Big Implications