A state appellate court on Friday refused Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky’s request to block recall proponents from collecting ballot-qualifying signatures.
The Sixth District Court of Appeal, without comment, also rejected a petition from Persky that would have immediately reversed a trial court’s August ruling allowing the recall campaign to continue. Persky’s regular appeal of that court’s decision is pending in a separate case before the Sixth District. Oral arguments have not been scheduled.
“We are extremely pleased that the Court of Appeal turned down Persky’s request for an injunction to block our signature collection efforts,” Michele Dauber, a Stanford Law School professor and chair of the Committee to Recall Judge Persky, said in an email.
The ruling marks the second defeat for Persky in his ongoing efforts to stop the campaign seeking his ouster. Retired San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kay Tsenin this summer rejected Persky’s argument that, as a state constitutional officer, the recall petition targeting him should have been filed with the secretary of state, not the Santa Clara County elections office.
Persky’s attorney, Christine Peek, said in an email that the regular appeal raises the same issues as the petition the Sixth District panel denied on Friday.
“Since the appeal remains pending, the denial of the writ does not affect the issues before the appellate court,” Peek said.
Persky drew international attention in June 2016 when he sentenced former Stanford University student Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Dauber and other recall proponents have since highlighted a number of decisions by Persky that they say reflect a bias towards men accused of assaulting women.
Opponents of the recall say Persky’s sentences have been lawful and have followed sentencing recommendations. More than 90 law professors this summer signed a letter opposing the recall.
Recall advocates say they have collected 76,000 signatures and hope to have 14,000 more before they submit petitions by Feb. 3. The campaign needs just under 59,000 valid signatures to qualify for the June ballot.
Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson has announced she will run to replace Persky should his recall go before voters.