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Monday, 11 July 2011 10:34

In Case You Missed It: Erwin Chemerinsky: The Legislature Unquestionably Has the Power to Strip Cityhood from Vernon

SACRAMENTO – In case you missed it, Dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law and respected constitutional lawyer, Erwin Chemerinsky recently penned an opinion piece for the San Francisco Chronicle weighing in on the constitutionality of Speaker John A. Pérez’s (D-Los Angeles) Assembly Bill 46, a bill to disincorporate any city with a population under 150:

“Simply put, since it is the Legislature that ultimately creates cities, it is the Legislature that can decide to disincorporate them. There is no authority, in California or elsewhere, that once a city has been incorporated it has a constitutional right to exist forever. Nor have developments in the last century lessened the Legislature’s power in this area.”

Vernon, the smallest city in California by population has only 96 residents, virtually all of whom live in heavily subsidized, city owned housing; and are either employed by the city or connected to city officials. News reports have documented the many incidents of corruption in Vernon, including rampant cronyism, illegal uses of public funds, voter fraud, and bloated salaries and pensions, including awarding a Vernon official the largest public pension in the state.

Speaker Pérez’s AB 46 will next be heard by the State Senate.

View the full column here:

CONTACT: John Vigna, Robin Swanson (916) 319-2408

Website of Speaker John A. Pérez: