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Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs & Fair Competition v. Norris

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

April 3, 2015

CHULA VISTA CITIZENS FOR JOBS AND FAIR COMPETITION; LORI KNEEBONE; LARRY BREITFELDER; ASSOCIATED BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS OF SAN DIEGO, INC., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
DONNA NORRIS; MAYOR CHERYL COX; PAMELA BENSOUSSAN; STEVE CASTANEDA; JOHN MCCANN, in his official capacity as Member of the Chula Vista City Council; RUDY RAMIREZ, JR., in his official Capacity as Member of the Chula Vista City Council, Defendants-Appellees, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Intervenor-Defendant--Appellee

Argued and Submitted En Banc December 16, 2014, Pasadena, California

Page 521

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 522

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 523

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. D.C. No. 3:09-cv-00897-BEN-JMA. Roger T. Benitez, District Judge, Presiding.

AFFIRMED.

SUMMARY[*]

Civil Rights

The en banc court affirmed the district court's summary judgment in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging two requirements that the State of California and the City of Chula Vista, California, place on persons who wish to sponsor a local ballot measure: (1) the requirement that the official proponent of a ballot measure be an elector, thereby disqualifying corporations and associations from holding that position; and (2) the requirement that the official proponent's name appear on each section of the initiative petition that is circulated to voters for their signature.

The en banc court held that the requirement that the official proponent of an initiative be an elector, thereby excluding corporations and associations from holding that position, does not violate the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. The en banc court also held that the requirement that the name of the official proponent of an initiative be disclosed on the face of the initiative petitions withstands exacting scrutiny under the First Amendment.

James Bopp, Jr. (argued), and Richard E. Coleson, Bopp Law Firm, Terre Haute, Indiana; Charles H. Bell, Jr., and Brian T. Hildreth, Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, Sacramento, California; Gary D. Leasure, Workman Leasure, San Deigo, California, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Charles A. Bird (argued), McKenna Long & Aldridge, San Diego, California, for Defendants-Appellees.

George Waters (argued), Deputy Attorney General; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General; Douglas J. Woods, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Peter A. Krause, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Sacramento, ...


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