Category Archives: Elections

Legislature Tries Again To Put Citizens United On California Ballot

Nearly two years ago, I wrote that the California Supreme Court had blocked an effort to include an advisory vote in the statewide ballot. Proposition 49 asked whether the United States Congress and California Legislature should approve an amendment to the U.S. Constitution overturning the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 130 …

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California Political Contribution Case That 19 Law Professors Missed

Earlier this week, I wrote about an amicus curiae brief submitted by 19 law school professors Friedrichs v. Cal. Teachers Ass’n, a case now pending before the United States Supreme Court.  In particular, I questioned whether these academics properly described the holding Finley v. Superior Court, 80 Cal. App. 4th 1152 (2000).  The professors claimed that the case represented a “rare example” of a …

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Staying Above The Political Fray – The RIA (Registered Investment Adviser) Political Contribution Rule

It is entirely understandable if after the recent hotly contested “mid-term” elections the general public would like to put political campaigns behind them– at least for the few months before the hype around the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections kicks into gear.  For many folks in the U.S. financial services industry, however, political campaigns have to …

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Wisconsin Right to Life v. Barland (7th Cir. May 14, 2014)

On May 14, 2014 the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals released its long-awaited decision in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Barland. Click here to read a copy of the court’s decision. The opinion is authored by Judge Diane Sykes who was a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court before being nominated by President Bush and then …

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New York Federal Judge Finally Tosses Aside Limits on Contributions to New York Super PACs (Political Action Committees)

Super PACs in the Empire State and in the Big Apple are about to become more “super.”  On April 24th, a New York federal court finally (albeit begrudgingly) struck down a state law that effectively capped contributions to state Super PACs at no more than $150,000.  Prior to today’s ruling, New York had been one of a few …

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U.S. Supreme Court Finds Aggregate Limits on Federal Campaign Contribution are Unconstitutional

On April 2, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that aggregate contribution limits, those limits placed on an individual’s overall direct contributions during a two-year election cycle, were unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment. The case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, No. 12-536 (U.S. April 2, 2014), is the latest case in which …

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Treasury and IRS Provide Thanksgiving Surprise: Proposed 501(c)(4) Political Activity Rules

As most of America travelled over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Treasury Department and the IRS delivered their own holiday gift.  On Tuesday, November 26, they released proposed guidance aimed at clarifying which conduct by tax-exempt social welfare organizations – 501(c)(4) entities – qualifies as political campaign …

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Will a New California Ballot Initiative Usher in the Next National Shift in Privacy Law?

Just 10 years ago, California enacted the first breach notification law and unwittingly transformed the landscape of American privacy and data security law. To date, 45 other states, multiple federal agencies, and even local governments have followed suit. California residents may soon find themselves voting on a ballot initiative that could have an equally dramatic effect on …

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Dewonkify – Electoral College

The National Law Review recently published an article by Hilary M. Hansen of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP regarding the Electoral College:   The Word: Electoral College The Meaning: The Electoral College is a body of 538 electors that determine the official outcome of the Presidential elections. Each state’s representation in the Electoral College is based on the state population (two …

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Voting Day Funny

Thanks to Kendall Gray of Andrews Kurth for the submission to The National Law Review: