Scott C. Smith

Scott C. Smith

Best Best & Krieger LLP

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To Campaign or Not to Campaign: A Refresher

As November elections and some major ballot measures loom, and as 2016 general election candidates start copping to “thinking about a run,” now seems a good time to revisit the impartiality required of public agencies and...more

10/16/2014 - Ballot Measures Political Campaigns Political Contributions Public Entities Public Funds

Public Officials and Agencies: To Campaign or Not to Campaign?

California law allows public agencies to expend public money and resources to educate voters on matters included on an upcoming election ballot. State law does not permit using public money or resources to advocate on behalf...more

9/9/2014 - Ballot Measures Elections Code Political Campaigns Public Entities Public Funds State and Local Government

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Initiative Disclosure Requirement

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision with significant implications for local and statewide ballot initiative processes. In Chula Vista Citizens v. Norris, the court upheld a Chula Vista Municipal Code...more

6/27/2014 - Ballot Measures Disclosure Requirements

Supreme Court Invalidates Federal Aggregate Limit on Campaign Contributions

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key portion of federal campaign contribution laws yesterday morning in McCutcheon v. Fed. Election Commission (No. 12-536). The Court’s 5-4 decision held that federal aggregate limits on...more

4/3/2014 - Aggregation Rules FEC McCutcheon v. FEC Political Contributions SCOTUS

Prop. 8 Ruling Complicates Process For California Initiative Proponents - U.S. Supreme Court Determines Proponents Lacked Standing...

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its recent Proposition 8 ruling, found that California’s initiative laws are insufficient to grant initiative proponents federal standing to sue or defend a proposition. This ruling complicates the...more

7/9/2013 - Civil Unions DOMA Domestic Partnership Hollingsworth v Perry Marriage Proposition 8 Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Standing US v Windsor

Ninth Circuit Upholds Opening Prayers at City Council Meetings - Prayers May Be Sectarian But May Not Proselytize or Disparage...

Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently upheld as constitutional a city council’s practice of opening its sessions with prayer. The court upheld the city’s policy concerning such prayers, which extended the invitation to lead...more

4/1/2013 - City Councils Establishment Clause First Amendment Prayer Religion

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