Sunday, October 13, 2013

Incredibly Prop 8 is still in the courts

The backers of the Proposition 8 campaign are still in the courts. They are trying to keep confidential the contributors to the campaign. Of course that would be putting toothpaste back in the tube. We know who contributed what. It's all on the Internet. Nevertheless, at a hearing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, they presented declarations from 58 contributors claiming that they had been subjected to vandalism, hate mail, boycotts and death threats. Oh, the poor dears.

The agenda is to affect disclosure requirements for future campaigns including the possible ballot measure to repeal the new state law providing rights and opportunities for transgender youth. I am not at all sure how they expect the federal courts to alter California's campaign finance disclosure requirements.  Judge Ikuta asked "How can this court redress the grievance that you have?" As the district court noted, the US Supreme Court has provided confidentiality for small, persecuted groups whose very existence depended on some manner of anonymity like the NAACP in the segregated South.

Representing the Prop 8 proponents were James Bopp and John Eastman. Eastman is the chairman of National Organization for Marriage. Bopp said that the organization expects to take part in additional "campaigns regarding protecting marriage." He provided no details. Bopp is expensive and his meter runs in fast forward. Apparently these religious extremists still have funds available to them.

Previously,  U.S. District Judge Morrison England of Sacramento refused to seal the contribution records noting that the Prop. 8 campaign raised more than $40 million and got over 7 million votes. At Friday's hearing, Judge Smith said pretty much the same thing; "You had millions of dollars. You won. ... How can we avoid taking that into account?"

The panel seemed skeptical and the expectation is that Judge Morrison's ruling will be sustained. Do these people expect to finance another case before the US Supreme Court?
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