The Supreme Court issued an order  yesterday upholding a US Federal District Court decision  that requires, effective immediately, more transparency in the naming of of donors to non-profit groups which run advertisements for or against political candidates. The lawsuit, brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) against the conservative group…

On Monday, September 10, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found a Missouri law that banned donations between political action committees ("PACs") violated the First Amendment. Judge Steven Colloton wrote that the law "limits the donor-PAC's speech and associational rights under the First Amendment." 

Posted in: Election Law

A federal district court judge in Illinois has granted preliminary approval to a settlement between State Farm and a class of plaintiffs claiming that the insurance giant created a RICO enterprise to bankroll the election of a judge to the state's high court. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier was elected in 2004, and in 2005 voted to overturn a $1.05 billion verdict against the insurer stemming from breach of contract claims regarding its alleged use of non-original parts in vehicles damaged in accidents. State Farm will not admit liability through the recently-proposed settlement, but will pay $250 million to class members. 

Arguing for the charities' right of free association, a public interest law firm and a charitable group co-founded by the Koch brothers had challenged the disclosure of information, stating that the requirement chills donor contributions.

The North Carolina legislature historically has been dominated by Republicans, but times may be changing in a state known for extremely conservative lawmaking. While the Governor is a Democrat, the Republican supermajority in the legislature has pushed many laws past his veto over the last two years. One of the most notable…

A federal district court judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provide an expedited publication schedule for rules on tobacco warnings on cigarette packs and advertisements, citing "unreasonable delays" by the FDA.

Posted in: Administrative Law

The FCC should investigate Verizon’s throttling of firefighters’ “unlimited data” that took place during California’s largest wildfire, two Senate Democrats recently argued.

Posted in: Internet Law, Politics

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit last week against the federal government, alleging they violated the Clean Water Act by allowing millions of gallons of raw sewage, heavy metals, and other contamination to routinely spill across the border from Tijuana into San Diego. According to the complaint, toxic water pollution from the Tijuana River Valley shut down San Diego beaches on more than 500 days in the past three years.

Posted in: Environmental Law

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided a case allowing the government to produce evidence from the Internet Archive (often referred to as the “Wayback Machine”). The July 2018 ruling supports a similar holding from the Third Circuit in 2011.

On Friday, September 7, US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan denied an application to preserve straight-ticket voting on Michigan state ballots. The brief order indicated that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have granted the application. The denial of the application will mean that on the November 6 ballot, voters in Michigan will have to vote individually for numerous partisan offices, in accordance with a law passed by the Republican-majority legislature in 2015. Until today, that law had been stalled in litigation.

Posted in: Election Law