California Pro-Life Council v. Getman
Campaign Finance Reform
This case concerns the constitutionality of California’s campaign finance disclosure laws for ballot measure campaigns. In 2003, the Brennan Center and co-counsel Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and the National Voting Rights Institute filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in defense of the state’s disclosure rules for the financing of initiative campaigns. In addition to defending the current legal standard in the Ninth Circuit, the brief explained how the disclosure rules help prevent circumvention of campaign finance requirements governing candidate campaigns. The Court of Appeals remanded the case to determine whether California had a sufficiently compelling interest in requiring corporations to report their express ballot-measure advocacy contributions and expenditures and whether the state’s regulations were satisfactorily narrowly drawn. On remand, the district court held that the state had indeed established a compelling interest in disclosure and that the state’s disclosure scheme was narrowly tailored to achieve its purpose. In July 2005, the plaintiff appealed once more, and the case is currently pending before the United State Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.