Unfortunately, I do not have time right now to chime in on the very important ballot measure committee contribution disclosure lawsuit, ProtectMarriage.com, which is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. I’ve served as an expert in several campaign finance lawsuits across the country, including the case California Pro-Life Council v. Getman (9th Cir. 2005), when my research was used to bolster the constitutionality of California’s ballot measure disclosure requirements. I must say that it’s gratifying to see that my 2005 Election Law Journal article with Elizabeth Garrett that details the deceptive practices of “Veiled Political Actors” is once again being used to support the case for the public disclosure of the activities of ballot issue committee, as required under California’s Political Reform Act.
If you’re interested in the topic, I’d urge you to read the Campaign Legal Center’s amicus brief filed in ProtectMarriage.com v. Bowen.
As the Legal Center points out in its press release, “In the last decade alone the Supreme Court has upheld disclosure laws by votes of 8-1 three times, most recently in Doe v. Reed. In his concurrence in the case, Justice Scalia made very clear the importance of transparency to the health of our democracy:
Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously (McIntyre) and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.”