United States of America v. State of California et al

Filing 164

ORDER signed by District Judge John A. Mendez on 6/4/2018 DENYING 73 Motion to Intervene by Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights and California Partnership to End Domestic Violence may file an amici curiae brief by 6/12/2018. (Donati, J)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 11 2:18-cv-490-JAM-KJN Plaintiff, 12 13 No. v. STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al., 14 Defendants. ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE BY CALIFORNIA PARTNERSHIP TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE COALITION FOR HUMANE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS 15 16 The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and the 17 Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (collectively “Intervenor- 18 Defendants”) filed a Motion to Intervene as Defendants in this 19 pending case between the United States and the State of 20 California. 21 in order to defend the California Values Act (“Senate Bill 54” or 22 “SB 54”) on behalf of their members and clients. 23 States and California oppose intervention. 24 For the reasons set forth below, Intervenor-Defendants’ motion is 25 DENIED. 1 ECF No. 73. Intervenor-Defendants seek to intervene Both the United ECF Nos. 149 & 151. 26 27 28 1 This motion was determined to be suitable for decision without oral argument. E.D. Cal. L.R. 230(g). The hearing was scheduled for June 5, 2018. 1 1 I. 2 BACKGROUND The United States filed suit against the State of 3 California, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Attorney General 4 Xavier Becerra (collectively “California”) on March 6, 2018, 5 seeking a declaration invalidating, and a preliminary and 6 permanent injunction enjoining, certain parts of SB 54, Assembly 7 Bill 450, and Assembly Bill 103. 8 concurrently filed a motion for preliminary injunction. 9 2. Compl., ECF No. 1. It ECF No. California filed its opposition to that motion and a motion 10 to dismiss on May 4, 2018. 11 States filed suit, the parties have litigated discovery matters, 12 undertaken expedited discovery, and participated in multiple 13 discovery conferences. 14 118, & 157. 15 Northern District of California, which the Court denied on March 16 29, 2018. 17 Court’s permission, twenty-two amicus and amici curiae briefs 18 have been filed. 19 140. ECF Nos. 74 & 77. Since the United ECF Nos. 20, 21, 22, 26, 28, 84, 95, 100, California filed a motion to transfer venue to the ECF Nos. 18 & 39. By consent of the parties or the ECF Nos. 43, 44, 48, 55–57, 104, 112, & 126– 20 Intervenor-Defendants are nonprofit organizations that 21 contend their members and clients will be impacted if provisions 22 of SB 54 are enjoined. 23 Domestic Violence (“the Partnership”) is a statewide organization 24 comprised of organizations—including direct services providers— 25 and individuals that work to address domestic violence and 26 provide support for victims. 27 The Partnership’s direct service provider members serve immigrant 28 populations and the Partnership provides training and programming The California Partnership to End Moore Decl., ECF No. 73-4, ¶¶ 2–3. 2 1 related to issues affecting immigrant survivors, witnesses, and 2 their families. 3 Rights (“the Coalition”) is a statewide membership organization 4 whose mission is to advance human and civil rights of immigrants 5 and refugees, promote multi-ethnic and multi-racial human 6 relations, and empower immigrants and their allies. 7 ECF No. 73-5, ¶¶ 2–3. 8 meetings, educates the community through trainings, workshops, 9 and literature, provides direct legal services, engages in direct Id. ¶¶ 6–7. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Salas Decl., The Coalition organizes regional member 10 political advocacy, and runs a hotline that provides information 11 and referrals. 12 passage and believe the laws enacted are important to their 13 members’ interests. 14 ensure the challenged provisions of SB 54 are not struck down or 15 enjoined. Id. ¶¶ 4–5. Both organizations supported SB 54’s Mot. at 3–4. They seek to intervene to 16 17 II. INTERVENTION AS OF RIGHT 18 A. Legal Standard 19 Intervenor-Defendants contend that they are entitled to 20 intervene in this lawsuit as of right. 21 court must permit anyone to intervene who . . . claims an 22 interest relating to the property or transaction that is the 23 subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing of the 24 action may as a practical matter impair or impede the movant’s 25 ability to protect its interest, unless existing parties 26 adequately represent that interest.” 27 Courts in the Ninth Circuit apply a four part test to determine 28 /// 3 “On timely motion, the Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a). 1 2 3 4 5 whether such a motion should be granted: (1) the motion must be timely; (2) the applicant must claim a “significantly protectable” interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action; (3) the applicant must be so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede its ability to protect that interest; and (4) the applicant’s interest must be inadequately represented by the parties to the action. 6 7 Wilderness Soc. v. U.S. Forest Serv., 630 F.3d 1173, 1177 (9th 8 Cir. 2011) (quoting Sierra Club v. U.S. E.P.A., 995 F.2d 1478, 9 1481 (9th Cir. 1993)). “Failure to satisfy any one of the 10 requirements is fatal to the application, and [the Court] need 11 not reach the remaining elements if one of the elements is not 12 satisfied.” 13 947, 950 (9th Cir. 2009). 14 Perry v. Proposition 8 Official Proponents, 587 F.3d Both the United States and California (collectively “the 15 Parties”) oppose intervention, primarily arguing that California 16 will adequately represent Intervenor-Defendants’ interests. 17 In determining the adequacy of representation, district 18 courts consider “whether the interest of a present party is such 19 that it will undoubtedly make all the intervenor’s arguments; 20 whether the present party is capable and willing to make such 21 arguments; and whether the intervenor would offer any necessary 22 elements to the proceedings that other parties would neglect.” 23 People of State of Cal. v. Tahoe Reg’l Planning Agency, 792 F.2d 24 775, 778 (9th Cir. 1986). 25 determine whether a proposed intervenor is adequately represented 26 by a present party to the action is ‘how the [intervenor’s] 27 interest compares with the interests of existing parties.’” 28 Perry, 587 F.3d at 950–51 (quoting Arakaki v. Cayetano, 324 F.3d “The ‘most important factor’ to 4 1 1078, 1086 (9th Cir. 2003)). 2 when the applicant and an existing party have the same ultimate 3 objective. 4 Latin Am. Citizens v. Wilson, 131 F.3d 1297, 1305 (9th Cir. 1997) 5 (“Under well-settled precedent in this circuit, where an 6 applicant for intervention and an existing party have the same 7 ultimate objective, a presumption of adequacy of representation 8 arises.”). 9 representation when the existing party is a government body A presumption of adequacy arises Perry, 587 F.3d at 951; see also League of United Additionally, courts presume adequacy of 10 acting on behalf of its constituency. 11 (“There is also an assumption of adequacy when the government is 12 acting on behalf of a constituency that it represents.”). 13 each presumption, the applicant must make a compelling showing— 14 and in the case of government representation, a very compelling 15 showing—that its interests are not adequately represented. Arakaki, 324 F.3d at 1086 With Id. 16 B. Application 17 At the outset, the Parties assert that California adequately 18 represents Intervenor-Defendants’ interests in this litigation. 19 They argue that the heightened standard applies to Intervenor- 20 Defendants’ motion because Intervenor-Defendants share the “same 21 ultimate objective” as California. 22 4–5. 23 “government body acting on behalf of its constituency” reinforces 24 this presumption. 25 Pl. Opp. at 5–7; Def. Opp. at They further argue that California’s status as a Pl. Opp. at 8–11; Def. Opp. at 5–6. Intervenor-Defendants argue that adequate representation 26 cannot be presumed unless their interests and California’s 27 interests “align precisely.” 28 Dodd, 749 F.3d 339, 345 (5th Cir. 2014) (“Although both the state Mot. at 11 (citing Brumfield v. 5 1 and the parents vigorously oppose dismantling the voucher 2 program, their interests may not align precisely.”)). 3 not the case here, they argue, because (1) California has broader 4 interests to protect than Intervenor-Defendants, (2) California 5 has an interest in maintaining relationships with entities—the 6 Federal Government and certain localities—that oppose SB 54, and 7 (3) California seeks to defend each law subject to this lawsuit 8 and not just SB 54. 9 That is Id. at 11–12. Precise alignment of interests is not the legal standard in 10 the Ninth Circuit. 11 adequate representation if Intervenor-Defendants and California 12 share the same “ultimate objective.” 13 Rather, the Court is bound to presume See Perry, 587 F.3d at 951. Intervenor-Defendants have not shown that they have an 14 objective distinct from that of California. Both seek to defend 15 the constitutionality of SB 54 and ensure that the law is upheld. 16 See Perry, 587 F.3d at 951 (“[I]t is apparent to us that the 17 ultimate objective of the Campaign [(proposed intervenor)] and 18 the Proponents is identical—defending the constitutionality of 19 Prop. 8 and the principle that the traditional definition of 20 marriage is the union of a man and a woman.”); Prete v. Bradbury, 21 438 F.3d 949, 957 (9th Cir. 2006) (“Here, the ultimate objective 22 for both defendant and intervenor-defendants is upholding the 23 validity of Measure 26. 24 defendant is adequately representing intervenor-defendants’ 25 interests.”). 26 objective is identical to California’s and therefore a 27 presumption of adequacy applies. 28 presumption” applies because California is a government entity Thus, a presumption arises that The Court finds Intervenor-Defendants’ ultimate Additionally, a “second 6 1 representing a constituency that includes Intervenor-Defendants. 2 See Prete, 438 F.3d at 957 (“While it is unclear whether this 3 ‘assumption’ rises to the level of a second presumption, or 4 rather is a circumstance that strengthens the first presumption, 5 it is clear that ‘[i]n the absence of a “very compelling showing 6 to the contrary,” it will be presumed that’ the Oregon government 7 adequately represents the interests of the intervenor- 8 defendants.”) (citations omitted). 9 California’s responsibility to protect the “broader public 10 interest” does not, by itself, thwart the applicable 11 presumptions. 12 necessarily charged with representing interests beyond those 13 attributable to individual members or groups of its constituency. 14 If this breadth alone were sufficient to show inadequate 15 representation, the presumption applied to government entities 16 would be hollow. 17 found, adequate representation in similar circumstances. 18 e.g., Prete, 438 F.3d at 957 (presuming, and finding, adequate 19 representation where the Oregon government and Intervenor- 20 Defendants shared the same ultimate objective in upholding the 21 validity of a ballot measure); Freedom from Religion Found., Inc. 22 v. Geithner, 644 F.3d 836, 841 (9th Cir. 2011) (presuming, and 23 finding, adequate representation where the federal defendants 24 shared Intervenor-Defendants ultimate objective of upholding the 25 constitutionality of the challenged statues). See Mot. at 11. A government entity is Indeed, the Ninth Circuit has presumed, and See, 26 For similar reasons, the Court does not find inadequate 27 representation based on California’s interest in maintaining its 28 relationship with the federal government and its own localities. 7 1 All government entities have a variety of relationships to 2 maintain and this attribute alone does not establish inadequacy. 3 See League of United Latin American Citizens, 131 F.3d 1297 4 (finding adequate representation where California’s governor had 5 shown unwavering support for the challenged law). 6 representation inadequate just because California will defend 7 each law subject to this litigation and not only SB 54. 8 Intervenor-Defendants have not demonstrated how defending the 9 entire action might constrain or impede California’s defense of Nor is 10 SB 54. 11 defend SB 54 in pursuit of their shared goals. 12 State of Ariz., 939 F.2d 727, 737 (9th Cir. 1991) (finding 13 inadequate representation where the defendant-Governor had 14 decided not to appeal the district court’s adverse decision and 15 had adopted a narrower construction of a ballot initiative than 16 the supporters of the initiative who sought to intervene); 17 Sagebrush Rebellion, Inc. v. Watt, 713 F.2d 525 (9th Cir. 1983) 18 (finding possibility of inadequate representation where the 19 defendant Secretary of the Interior was previously the head of 20 the organization representing the plaintiffs in the action). 21 Without more, the traits cited in Intervenor-Defendants’ motion 22 are inconsequential. 23 It is uncontroverted that California will vigorously Cf. Yniguez v. In their Reply brief, Intervenor-Defendants argue they 24 should be allowed to intervene because they raise arguments in 25 their Proposed Opposition to the Preliminary Injunction that 26 California failed to make. 27 PI, ECF No. 73-2, with Def. Opp. to PI, ECF No. 74. 28 courts consider, inter alia, “whether the interest of a present Rep. at 3; compare Proposed Opp. to 8 Although 1 party is such that it will undoubtedly make all of a proposed 2 intervenor’s arguments,” “the most important factor in 3 determining the adequacy of representation is how the interest 4 compares with the interests of existing parties.” 5 F.3d at 1086. 6 showing is required. 7 might have authored California’s Opposition differently, the 8 thrust of their arguments are substantially the same as is the 9 ultimate relief that they seek. Arakaki, 324 Once the presumptions apply, a very compelling Id. Here, while Intervenor-Defendants See Def. Opp. to PI at 10–22; 10 Proposed Opp. to PI at 4–23. 11 adequately demonstrated that their distinct arguments—or case 12 citations—are tied to interests unique to their members and 13 divergent from those of California. 14 and cannot show, that California is unwilling or incapable of 15 making any arguments that would advance their shared interest. 16 Intervenor-Defendants have not They also have not shown, Finally, Intervenor-Defendants argue that their 17 interpretation of SB 54 differs from California’s in two ways. 18 First, they “do not share the State’s view that the SB 54 allows 19 localities to share release dates and addresses with DHS simply 20 by making them public.” 21 that localities can share addresses with DHS through the CLETS 22 database.” 23 “to allow [them] to defend [SB 54] without relying on legal 24 interpretations that, if accepted, would reduce the protection 25 [SB 54] provides to their members and clients. 26 Id. Rep. at 3. Second, they do not “agree Thus, they contend, intervention is necessary Rep. at 3. This argument, too, falls short of compelling. Although 27 Intervenor-Defendants cite pages of California’s brief that 28 contain the contested interpretations of California Government 9 1 Code § 7284.6, Rep. at 3, they have not shown that their 2 allegedly distinct interpretations of the statute have merit. 3 See California ex rel. Lockyer v. United States, 450 F.3d 436, 4 444 (9th Cir. 2006) (“In order to make a ‘very compelling 5 showing’ of the government’s inadequacy, the proposed intervenor 6 must demonstrate a likelihood that the government will abandon or 7 concede a potentially meritorious reading of the statute.”). 8 does such support appear in their Proposed Opposition. 9 Proposed Opp. to PI, ECF No. 73-2. Nor See Furthermore, the Court finds 10 that these alleged distinctions are not material to the outcome 11 that both California and Intervenor-Defendants seek. 12 Lockyer, 450 F.3d at 445 (finding inadequate representation where 13 differences in construction of a statute “go to the heart of the 14 defense”). Cf. 15 Given the absence of a compelling argument to the contrary, 16 the Court finds California will adequately represent Intervenor- 17 Defendants’ interests in this litigation. 18 to satisfy any one of the requirements is fatal to the 19 application,” the Court need not, and does not, address the 20 remaining elements. 21 Defendants’ motion to intervene as of right is denied. Because the “failure Perry, 587 F.3d at 950. Intervenor- 22 23 III. PERMISSIVE INTERVENTION 24 A. Legal Standard 25 Alternatively, Intervenor-Defendants request permissive 26 intervention under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(b). 27 timely motion, the court may permit anyone to intervene who is 28 given a conditional right to intervene by a federal statute; or 10 “On 1 has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common 2 question of law or fact.” 3 grant permissive intervention where the applicant for 4 intervention shows (1) independent grounds for jurisdiction; (2) 5 the motion is timely; and (3) the applicant’s claim or defense, 6 and the main action, have a question of law or a question of fact 7 in common.” 8 (9th Cir. 1996). 9 Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b). “[A] court may Nw. Forest Res. Council v. Glickman, 82 F.3d 825,839 “Even if an applicant satisfies those threshold 10 requirements, the district court has discretion to deny 11 permissive intervention.” 12 412 (9th Cir. 1998). 13 whether the movant’s ‘interests are adequately represented by 14 existing parties.’” 15 Cir. 1989) aff’d sub nom. Venegas v. Mitchell, 495 U.S. 82 16 (1990). 17 B. 18 The Court is compelled to deny Intervenor-Defendants’ motion Donnelly v. Glickman, 159 F.3d 405, In doing so, the Court may again “evaluate Venegas v. Skaggs, 867 F.2d 527, 530 (9th Application 19 for permissive intervention for the same reasons they may not 20 intervene as of right, i.e., there is no reason to doubt that 21 California will not fully, vigorously and adequately represent 22 their interests in this litigation. 23 Furthermore, the Court finds the addition of Intervenor- 24 Defendants to this lawsuit will contribute little to resolution 25 of the claims. 26 relationship between two sovereign entities: the United States 27 and the State of California. 28 See Astiana v. Hain Celestial Grp., 783 F.3d 753, 757 (9th Cir. This lawsuit fundamentally concerns the The claims turn on legal questions. 11 1 2015) (describing preemption as a “purely legal question”). 2 litigation presents complex constitutional issues that are more 3 likely to be complicated by the introduction of litigants such as 4 Intervenor-Defendants who seek to advance interests that are not 5 necessary to the determination of whether SB 54 is facially 6 lawful. 7 United States and the State of California that the proper role 8 for Intervenor-Defendants is as amici. 9 F.2d 947, 955 (9th Cir. 1977) (while litigation might benefit This Under these circumstances, the Court agrees with the See Blake v. Pallan, 554 10 from proposed intervenor’s knowledge of law and facts, “such 11 benefits might be obtained by an amicus brief rather than bought 12 with the price of intervention”). 13 14 15 IV. ORDER For the reasons set forth above, Intervenor-Defendants’ 16 Motion to Intervene is DENIED. 17 amici curiae brief by Tuesday, June 12, 2018. 18 19 Intervenor-Defendants may file IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 4, 2018 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 12

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