Article XXI Section 2 California Constitution
Below is the content of Article XXI Section 2 of the California Constitution
(a) The Citizens Redistricting Commission shall be created no later than December 31 in 2010, and in each year ending in the number zero thereafter.
(b) The commission shall: (1) conduct an open and transparent process enabling full public consideration of and comment on the drawing of district lines; (2) draw district lines according to the redistricting criteria specified in this article; and (3) conduct themselves with integrity and fairness.
(c) (1) The selection process is designed to produce a commission that is independent from legislative influence and reasonably representative of this State’s diversity.
(2) The commission shall consist of 14 members, as follows: five who are registered with the largest political party in California based on registration, five who are registered with the second largest political party in California based on registration, and four who are not registered with either of the two largest political parties in California based on registration.
(3) Each commission member shall be a voter who has been continuously registered in California with the same political party or unaffiliated with a political party and who has not changed political party affiliation for five or more years immediately preceding the date of his or her appointment. Each commission member shall have voted in two of the last three statewide general elections immediately preceding his or her application.
(4) The term of office of each member of the commission expires upon the appointment of the first member of the succeeding commission.
(5) Nine members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. Nine or more affirmative votes shall be required for any official action. The four final redistricting maps must be approved by at least nine affirmative votes which must include at least three votes of members registered from each of the two largest political parties in California based on registration and three votes from members who are not registered with either of these two political parties.
(6) Each commission member shall apply this article in a manner that is impartial and that reinforces public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process. A commission member shall be ineligible for a period of 10 years beginning from the date of appointment to hold elective public office at the federal, state, county, or city level in this State. A member of the commission shall be ineligible for a period of five years beginning from the date of appointment to hold appointive federal, state, or local public office, to serve as paid staff for, or as a paid consultant to, the Board of Equalization, the Congress, the Legislature, or any individual legislator, or to register as a federal, state or local lobbyist in this State.
(d) The commission shall establish single-member districts for the Senate, Assembly, Congress, and State Board of Equalization pursuant to a mapping process using the following criteria as set forth in the following order of priority:
(1) Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution. Congressional districts shall achieve population equality as nearly as is practicable, and Senatorial, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts shall have reasonably equal population with other districts for the same office, except where deviation is required to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act or allowable by law.
(2) Districts shall comply with the federal Voting Rights Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1971 and following).
(3) Districts shall be geographically contiguous.
(4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, local neighborhood, or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes their division to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.
(5) To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, districts shall be drawn to encourage geographical compactness such that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for more distant population.
(6) To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with the criteria above, each Senate district shall be comprised of two whole, complete, and adjacent Assembly districts, and each Board of Equalization district shall be comprised of 10 whole, complete, and adjacent Senate districts.
(e) The place of residence of any incumbent or political candidate shall not be considered in the creation of a map. Districts shall not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political candidate, or political party.
(f) Districts for the Congress, Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization shall be numbered consecutively commencing at the northern boundary of the State and ending at the southern boundary.
(g) By August 15 in 2011, and in each year ending in the number one thereafter, the commission shall approve four final maps that separately set forth the district boundary lines for the congressional, Senatorial, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. Upon approval, the commission shall certify the four final maps to the Secretary of State.
(h) The commission shall issue, with each of the four final maps, a report that explains the basis on which the commission made its decisions in achieving compliance with the criteria listed in subdivision (d) and shall include definitions of the terms and standards used in drawing each final map.
(i) Each certified final map shall be subject to referendum in the same manner that a statute is subject to referendum pursuant to Section 9 of Article II. The date of certification of a final map to the Secretary of State shall be deemed the enactment date for purposes of Section 9 of Article II.
(j) If the commission does not approve a final map by at least the requisite votes or if voters disapprove a certified final map in a referendum, the Secretary of State shall immediately petition the California Supreme Court for an order directing the appointment of special masters to adjust the boundary lines of that map in accordance with the redistricting criteria and requirements set forth in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f). Upon its approval of the masters’ map, the court shall certify the resulting map to the Secretary of State, which map shall constitute the certified final map for the subject type of district.