California: Ninth U.S. Circuit Court rules against sponsor IDs on ballot initiatives

Mon, Jun 23 2014 — Source: SFGate

A California law that requires the sponsors of ballot initiatives to identify themselves on the petitions they circulate to voters violates the constitutional law to speak anonymously, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday.

“Forced disclosures of this kind are significant encroachments on First Amendment rights,” the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a 2-1 decision.

It’s not hard for the public to find out who’s behind a proposed initiative, the court said - the names must be filed with the state or city elections office and published in a newspaper of general circulation.

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