Threat on ballot issue rings hollow
The threat of the Armenian National Committee to involve the city in an expensive lawsuit is meaningless (“Vote on absentee ballots delayed,” Jan. 30).
There is nothing in the California Constitution, legislation or common law, prohibiting a city from requiring absentee ballot applications to go directly to the city clerk.
Many cities, including Los Angeles, have such a requirement, and these cities have not been challenged in court, as far as I know.
If the city attorney believes there is something illegal about the proposed absentee ballot application ordinance, then he should tell the City Council and the public and cite the law or laws he relies on. If the city attorney does not believe the ordinance is illegal, he should tell this to the City Council and the public so that the council can adopt the ordinance and move on.
It would be impossible to show that the proposed ordinance is discriminatory because it applies to everyone regardless of ethnicity. In order to show it was discriminatory, the Armenian National Committee would have to show that Armenians suffer from some disability, unique to the Armenian population, preventing them from mailing ballot applications directly to the city clerk.
No such disability exists, and it would be discriminatory and insulting to claim that Armenians have it. Like everyone else, Armenians are perfectly capable of mailing a ballot, particularly as the instructions for doing so are in Armenian.
As someone who taught health law part time for more than 25 years and litigated for more than 40 years, I have seen some bizarre legal claims, but few of them are as bizarre as that of the Armenian National Committee.
Fortunately, Los Angeles Superior Court has some outstanding jurists
STANTON J. PRICE