Family PAC v. McKenna

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 12-29-2011
  • Case #: 10-35832
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge R. Fisher for the Court; Circuit Judges Paez and Clifton
  • Full Text Opinion

Ballot measure disclosure requirements do not violate the first amendment when they are substantially related to important government interests.

Family PAC argued Washington's disclosure statutes regarding contributions to ballot measures violated the First Amendment. The district court concluded that the statutes regarding name and address disclosure for contributions over 25 dollars, and employer or corporation information for contributions over 100 dollars, were constitutional. However, the district court found that the statute requiring contributions of more than 5,000 dollars to be made 21 days before election was unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit found that the first two statutes were constitutional because the contributor information provided to the public is an important governmental interest and the restrictions did not prevent anyone from speaking. The Court also found that the third statute was unconstitutional because it was not "closely drawn to match a sufficiently important interest." The Court found that given how rapidly information can be distributed and voters' choice to vote early or wait for all information the 21-day requirement does not meet constitutional scrutiny. AFFIRMED.

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