On April 2, Heidi Fuller asked the California Supreme Court to hear Fuller v Bowen, the case that challenges the refusal of the California Secretary of State to enforce the California Constitutional qualification that says legislative candidates must have lived in the district for a year before filing to run for that office. Normally the California Supreme Court would have decided by this week whether to hear the case. But on May 23, the Court pushed back the date by which it will decide that to June 29.
The Superior Court had ruled that the California Constitution’s one-year residency requirement violates the U.S. Constitution, and therefore the California Constitutional provision should not be enforced. But the State Court of Appeals had, in a sense, reversed the Superior Court, and said it doesn’t matter whether the California Constitutional provision violates the U.S. Constitution, because in any event the Secretary of State has no authority to judge qualifications and must let anyone run for the legislature without investigating any of their personal characteristics.
The trouble with that theory is that it would let anyone run for the legislature, regardless of that person’s age and that person’s current residency. And the trouble with the Superior Court decision is that federal and state court decisions, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions, overwhelmingly and unanimously agree that one-year residency requirements for legislative candidates do not violate the U.S. Constitution.