April 02, 2010
San Diego's Opening 9th Circuit Brief in Thalheimer v. City of San Diego
Today co-counsel and I filed this brief in the 9th Circuit, arguing against a district court order (1) preliminarily enjoining the City's law barring individual (>$500) and non-individual (i.e., corporate, union, etc.) contributions to independent expenditure committees and (2) preliminarily enjoining, as to political parties, a ban on organizational direct contributions to candidates. Plaintiffs have cross-appealed, so there will be additional issues briefed in the case later on. (The Ninth Circuit denied a stay on the first of these two orders; as to the second, the district court had imposed its own stay.)
The brief includes an extended discussion of Citizens United and Speechnow. One difference with the Speechnow case is that the issue there involved only individual contributions to candidates; the San Diego case involves contributions by non-individual entities as well.