- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
- Date Filed: 05-20-2014
- Case #: 11-17884
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge M. Smith for the Court; Circuit Judges Wallace and Ikuta
- Full Text Opinion
ProtectMarriage.com constitutionally challenged California’s Political Reform Act of 1974 (“PRA”) and its political committee requirement to disclose contributor information to the State, both facially and as-applied to them. ProtectMarriage.com supported Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to state that only heterosexual marriage is “valid or recognized in California.” ProtectMarriage.com argued that “their donors [had] been harassed as a result of the . . . disclosures.” ProtectMarriage.com sought an injunction exempting them from the PRA’s requirement in the future, and “declaratory and injunctive relief requiring the State to purge all records of their past PRA disclosures.” The district court granted “summary judgment in favor of the State on all counts.” On appeal, the Ninth Circuit applied “exacting scrutiny” to determine if the facial challenges would stand. The panel “first ask[ed] whether the challenged regulation burdens First Amendment rights.” If it does, the panel balances the burden on First Amendment rights and the substantial government interests of (1) providing the electorate with information about the source of campaign money, (2) deterring corruption and the appearance of corruption, and (3) keeping accurate records. The panel determined that the governmental interests related to the PRA disclosure requirement outweighed the burden on First Amendment rights. The panel also determined that to purge all records was moot since the information was already made public, and that a claim for an exemption for the future is not ripe, making it non-justiciable. Accordingly, the panel affirmed the district court’s judgment on the facial challenges, and dismissed the as-applied challenges with remand instructions to vacate that section of the district court’s opinion. AFFIRMED in part; DISMISSED in part; and REMANDED with instructions.