The ruling allows states to ban judicial candidates who run for the bench from personally asking for campaign contributions. Writing for the majority (5-4 decision), Chief Justice Roberts held, “Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot. A state may assure its people that judges will apply the law without fear or favor — and without having personally asked anyone for money.” The ruling surprised many experts, especially because the Chief Justice joined the four more liberal members of the Court in this decision, but it is far from clear as to whether this will have any future effect on other campaign finance cases dealing with contribution limits. The Washington Post article on the case is here and the full opinion is here.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has reportedly asked a court to allow her to block an incendiary proposed ballot measure which authorizes killing gays and lesbians. The move is probably a long shot, because the Attorney General does not have much leeway for which measures she prepares titles and summary. Additional details about the process and the other actions pending against the proponent of this measure in the Sacramento Bee article here.
According to the New York Times, Oregon’s new voter registration law will automatically register those voters who interact with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Individuals can opt out of the registration and will also be sent information on how to affiliate with a particular party if they so desire. Officials estimate the new law will add around 300,000 new voters to the rolls. There’s no doubt other states will be watching the implementation of this new system closely. You can read more about the new law here.
Yesterday, Miller & Olson LLP signed on to the amicus curiae brief in the Obergefell v. Hodges same -sex marriage case before the Supreme Court. The firm joined 378 other employers to urge the Supreme Court to strike down state law bans on same-sex marriage. The brief also expressed how important it is to have uniform laws regarding marriage across the United States. The employers joining us in this brief range from large, multi-national companies to small, family-owned businesses. They include Amazon, Apple, Cisco, General Electric, Google, The New England Patriots, Marriott, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Moody’s, Morgan Stanley, Pepsi, Pfizer, The San Francisco Giants, Target, Viacom, Walt Disney, and Wells Fargo, among many others.
Thanks to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for filing the brief.
NBC’s “Parks & Recreation” ended last night, and The Fix at The Washington Post put together a list of their top 12 political moments from the show, including this high five between First Lady Michelle Obama and Leslie Knope:
On Thursday, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) adopted regulations in response to the legislation passed last year banning fundraising events for candidates in a lobbyist’s home. The Commission also rejected any exceptions to the rule. For more details, click here.
The most expensive races are often the most competitive. The Sacramento Bee has a comprehensive article on the numbers from the last election cycle. Keep in mind that the totals include both spending by the candidates and independent expenditures. You can access the article here.
Amy Walter of Cook Political Report has an interesting article analyzing whether the top-two primary and other election changes have helped make elections more competitive or encouraged voter turnout. Definitely worth a read. You can access the full article here.
KQED’s John Myers has a great story on a case pending before the Supreme Court on whether independent redistricting commissions are constitutional, and how it could affect California. You can find the original article here.