ProtectMarriage.com v. Bowen, No. 11-17884 (9th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit challenging California's Political Reform Act of 1974, Cal. Gov. Code 81000-91014 (PRA), which requires political committees to report certain information about their contributors to the State. Plaintiffs are political committees that supported the November 2008 passage of Proposition 8 and argued that their donors have been harassed as a result of the PRA disclosures. Plaintiffs sought an injunction exempting them from the PRA's future reporting deadlines 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. The court held that Family PAC v. McKenna directly precluded plaintiffs' challenge to the $100 contribution threshold and the government's interest in disclosing contributions to ballot initiative committees is not merely a pre-election interest. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's judgment with regard to plaintiffs' facial challenges to the post-election reporting requirements. In regard to plaintiffs' as-applied challenges, the court concluded that plaintiffs' request for an injunction does not present a live controversy where the information that plaintiffs seek to keep private has been publicly available on the Internet and in hard copy for nearly five years; plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief did not fall within the mootness exception for cases that are capable of repetition, yet evading review; and plaintiffs' claim for forward-looking relief is not ripe for judicial review. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, dismissed in part, and remanded with instructions.