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Initiative/Referendum

How Do We Balance Disclosure with Maintaining the Privacy of Participants in Contentious Issues? - Event Audio

2014 Annual Western Chapters Conference
Paul Avelar, Manuel Klausner, Peter Scheer, Hans A. von Spakovsky, Carolyn B. Kuhl, Eugene B. Meyer February 03, 2014

How Do We Balance Disclosure with Maintaining the Privacy of Participants in Contentious Issues? - Event AudioSupporters of Proposition 8 have invoked NAACP v. Alabama to support their claims for anonymity, citing fears of intimidation and discrimination because of their opposition to same-sex marriage. How much transparency is needed when it comes to donors and supporters of contentious political issues? Is a signature on a petition deserving of a different degree of privacy than a financial contribution? Do different levels of support deserve different degrees of scrutiny? Or, as even Justice Scalia declared in oral arguments in Doe vs. Reed, is a certain amount of “civic courage” needed when taking a public stand on an issue? Do threats of harassment or even violence trump the need for transparency and disclosure? What are the repercussions for the First Amendment and direct democracy? How much privacy should be offered in ballot measure disclosure systems?

Panel Two: How Do We Balance Disclosure with Maintaining the Privacy of Participants in Contentious Issues?

  • Mr. Paul Avelar, Institute for Justice
  • Mr. Manny Klausner, Reason Foundation
  • Mr. Peter Scheer, First Amendment Coalition
  • Mr. Hans von Spakovsky, The Heritage Foundation
  • Moderator: Hon. Carolyn Kuhl, Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

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Has the United States Supreme Court Killed California’s Initiative Process or Helped Check Its Abuses? - Event Audio

2014 Annual Western Chapters Conference
Richard L. Hasen, Dan Kolkey, Justin Levitt, Kenneth P. Miller, Sandra Segal Ikuta, Leonard A. Leo February 03, 2014

Has the United States Supreme Court Killed California’s Initiative Process or Helped Check Its Abuses? - Event AudioThis panel will focus on what effect the United States Supreme Court’s holding that initiative proponents lack standing to defend initiatives that the Governor and Attorney General will not defend will have on California’s initiative process in general. What are the pros and cons of the initiative process as a matter of public policy? Do government lawyers (and politicians) have an ethical obligation to defend laws they do not agree with, especially those passed via citizen initiative?

Panel One: Has the United States Supreme Court killed California’s initiative process or helped check its abuses?

  • Prof. Rick Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine
  • Mr. Dan Kolkey, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  • Prof. Justin Levitt, Loyola Marymount University
  • Prof. Kenneth Miller, Claremont McKenna, and Author, Direct Democracy and the Courts
  • Moderator: Hon. Sandra Ikuta, U. S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

[Listen now!]

Government of the People, by the People, and for the People? - Event Audio/Video

2010 National Lawyers Convention
Robert D. Cooter, Richard A. Epstein, William N. Eskridge, Jr., Thomas W. Merrill, Steven G. Calabresi November 24, 2010

The second Showcase Panel at the the Federalist Society's 2010 National Lawyers Convention was on "Government of the People, by the People, and for the People?" and was held on Friday, November 19, 2010. Panelists included Prof. Robert D. Cooter, Director of the Program in Law and Economics at the University of California Berkeley School of Law; Prof. Richard A. Epstein of New York University School of Law; Prof. William N. Eskridge, Jr., of Yale Law School; Prof. Thomas W. Merrill of Columbia University School of Law; and Prof. Steven G. Calabresi  of Northwestern University School of Law and Chairman of The Federalist Society as the moderator.

State Court Docket Watch Summer 2010

William L. Stern, H. Scott Leviant, Jeremy B. Rosen, Shaun P. Martin, Michael Orfield September 09, 2010
State Court Docket WatchIn an effort to increase dialogue about state court jurisprudence, the Federalist Society presents State Court Docket Watch. This newsletter is one component of the State Courts Project, presenting original research on state court jurisprudence and illustrating new trends and ground-breaking decisions in the state courts. This special edition includes the thoughts of four experts on a panel hosted by the Federalist Society in May 2010 on California 17200, an initiative adopted in California in 2004 that restricts private lawsuits against a company only to those where an individual is actually injured by and suffers a financial loss due to an unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent business practice. [Read now!]

Doe v. Reed - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 07-19-10 featuring Bradley A. Smith
Bradley A. Smith July 19, 2010

SCOTUScastOn June 24, 2010, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Doe v. Reed. In this case, the Court was asked whether compelled disclosure of signatory information on a referendum petition violated the First Amendment.

In an 8-1 opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that although petition-signatories may have a right to nondisclosure in particular cases, they do not have a general constitutional right to nondisclosure. The Court declined to answer whether, in this particular referendum on expanding the rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners, including same-sex partners, the signatories' interest in avoiding persecution outweighed the state's interest in promoting transparency, and assigned this task to a lower court.

To discuss the case, we have the Capital University Law School Josiah H. Blackmore II and Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law Bradley A. Smith.