The recall of Judge Aaron Persky will be decided on by Santa Clara County voters when it appears on the June 5 ballot as planned after the 6th District Court of Appeal announced their denial of his appeal, according to the Recall Persky campaign.
Persky's history as a Superior Court judge became controversial after he handed down a six-month sentence to former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, who was convicted of the sexual assault of a woman after meeting her at a party on campus.
Persky filed an appeal on the grounds that the recall campaign should not have been filed with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, but rather with the California Secretary of State because he believed that he was considered a "state officer," not a "local officer."
However, Administrative Justice Franklin Elia, Associate Justice Adrienne Grover and former Justice Wendy Clark Duffy, the trio who presided over the appellate hearing last Tuesday, disagreed and stated in their decision that they found "no procedural error and therefore must affirm the order."
The lawsuit appeared originally in front of retired San Francisco Judge Ksenia Tsenin in August 2017, at which time she lifted a temporary restraining order that Persky had filed that delayed the collection of signatures for his recall, according to the justices' court decision.
Tsenin rescinded the order, determining that the county's Registrar of Voters was the proper official to review and approve recall petitions for Superior Court judges and that "the recall petition submitted in this case was neither misleading nor inaccurate," the document states.
It was at that point that Persky filed his appeal.
The justices sided with the Recall Persky campaign, but also with Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who showed opposition to Persky's order, stating that the Registrar of Voters was the proper place to oversee the recalling of a Superior Court judge, who in fact was "a local officer."
"We are thankful that the Sixth District Court of Appeals sided with the voters and rejected Judge Persky's appeal to stop the recall collection," recall chair Michele Dauber said in a statement. "Judge Persky has proven time and time again that he will do anything he can to impede the rights of voters."
Dauber, a Stanford University professor, has spearheaded the recall campaign and the petition, which garnered over 94,000 signatures in order to bring the motion to the county's Board of Supervisors. The board approved adding the recall to the June ballot on Feb. 6.
The decision is coming just in time since the county's final printing date for the June ballot is April 3.