Resource: Common Sense Party v. Padilla

By: Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

September 1, 2020

Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

Plaintiffs of the Common Sense Party (CSP), a political “party-in-formation” challenge the constitutionality of the California Elections Code §5151 (c) as it applies to them. The code requires new political parties to secure 68,180 voter registrations in order to qualify for the November 2020 election ballot. Plaintiffs allege that the COVID-19 shutdown renders it impossible to comply with this requirement. Thus, Plaintiffs move for either a Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction enjoining Defendant Secretary of State Alex Padilla from enforcing §5151(c) against them and requiring the Secretary of State to register the CSP as an official political party of California without the need for the CSP to obtain more voter registrations. The court denied both motions, concluding that Plaintiffs have failed to show they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims, especially to the level necessary to justify granting mandatory injunctive relief.