Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and her fellow justices could rule on the fate of state Senate political maps by the end of this month. (Photo: AP/Paul Sakuma)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Set aside the lengthy and complicated legal and constitutional points made Tuesday morning in oral arguments in front of the California Supreme Court and you come down to one basic question: will the maps of state Senate districts drawn by an independent citizens commission be used for the June primary and November general elections... or not?
From there, the questions posed and debated by attorneys for more than an hour this morning went something like this: does a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution mandate the high court to intervene now that a referendum is on the radar? And if the Supreme Court justices believe they must intervene, what limitations -- if any -- are there on the interim Senate maps they approve?