Friday, April 03, 2015

Chula Vista Citizens v. Norris (9th Cir. - April 3, 2015)

One might initially think that an en banc opinion by Judge Reinhardt that involved an analogous issue to Citizens United -- here, whether a city could permissibly allow only "natural persons" (as opposed to corporations) to sponsor an initiative petition -- would involve a close ideological split.  Especially when that issue is combined with a municipal requirement that the official proponent's name appear on the initiative petition circulated to voters.  After all, there's a First Amendment issue with respect to both requirements.  And, remember, it's an en banc opinion.  Presumably the panel did something that the en banc court felt necessitated review; e.g., didn't like.

That last part's true.  The panel opinion (authored by Judge O'Scannlain) thought that there was a First Amendment problem here.

The en banc court does not.  It's an 11-0.