A-1 A-Lectrician v. Snipes, No. 12-15913 (9th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
A-1 filed suit challenging the constitutionality of four provisions of Hawaii's campaign finance laws under Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. On appeal, A-1 challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Commission. The court concluded that Hawaii’s expenditure and noncandidate committee definitions in HRS 11-302 are not vague given the Commission’s narrowing construction; Hawaii's advertising definition in HRS 11-302 is not unconstitutionally vague; the noncandidate committee reporting and disclosure requirements survive exacting scrutiny as applied to A-1 where they were substantially related to Hawaii's important interest in informing the electorate, preventing corruption or its appearance, and avoiding the circumvention of valid campaign finance laws; the disclaimer requirement for advertisements is constitutional under Citizens United; A-1 lacks standing to challenge the electioneering communications reporting requirements; the contractor contribution ban is constitutional even as applied to contributions to legislators who neither award nor oversee contracts; and individual Plaintiffs Yamada and Stewart are entitled to attorney's fees. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment on the merits, but vacated the fee award, referring the matter to the Appellate Commissioner with instructions.