News & Publications
Essential Ethics: Political and Election Law Briefing in Sacramento on February 10, 2016
Government affairs representatives, general counsels, and political compliance officers, will be invited to join Nielsen Merksamer on February 10, 2016 for a complimentary briefing on the top political compliance issues to watch and election priorities to track for 2016
Nielsen Merksamer Prevails in Lawsuit Declaring Illegal Land Use Referendum Ineligible for the Ballot
On December 4, 2015, Superior Court Judge Leslie Nichols ruled that a referendum seeking to block land use approvals for mining operations in Amador County was invalid and ineligible for the ballot. The Judge concluded that the referendum petition was beyond the power of the people to propose because it sought to refer a non-legislative (i.e., administrative) act.
Kaune, Skelton, and Lim To Lead Campaign Finance, Enforcement Discussions at Major Ethics Conference
Nielsen Merksamer political law partners Jason Kaune, Jennie Skelton, and Darrin Lim will discuss the latest developments in campaign finance regulation and political law enforcements at a major governmental ethics conference on December 6 – 9 in Boston, MA.
Chris Skinnell Speaks on U.S. Supreme Court’s Upcoming “One Person, One Vote” Redistricting Case
On November 17, 2015, Nielsen Merksamer voting rights, redistricting and initiative law partner Chris Skinnell spoke at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum at Claremont McKenna College regarding Evenwel v. Abbott, due to be argued before the United States Supreme Court on December 8, and its potential implications for redistricting and voting rights law.
Nielsen Merksamer Wins Lawsuit to Invalidate Anti-Development Referendum in Town of Moraga
On October 16, 2015, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Barry Goode ruled that a referendum aimed at blocking a 36-unit in-fill development project in central Moraga is invalid on two grounds and therefore may not proceed to the ballot.
California Governor Signs Bills Updating Political and Nonprofit Disclosure Requirements
California Governor Jerry Brown closed out his legislative signing period by approving a flurry of bills that change the disclosure and reporting requirements for political and nonprofit groups active in the state.
United States Supreme Court Rejects Minor Party Challenge to California’s Top Two Primary
On October 13, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ petition for certiorari in Rubin v. Padilla, a constitutional challenge by California’s “minor” political parties to California’s Proposition 14 (the Top Two Candidate Open Primary Act). The Court’s refusal to take up the petition means the Court of Appeal’s decision upholding the Act is now final. See Rubin v. Padilla, 233 Cal. App. 4th 1128 (2015).
Governor Brown Signs New Voting Rights Bills
Eases general law cities’ move to district-based voting in response to threatened litigation and signs bills to combat low voter turnout; vetoes other proposed voting rights bills.
American Bar Association (ABA) Business Law Section 2015 Annual Meeting, Panelist, “Political Law Update 2015”
San Francisco Ballot Measure Rundown
Voters in San Francisco will have a crowded ballot to sort through at the upcoming City general election on November 3, 2015. In total, the fate of eleven measures will be decided at the ballot box on a variety of issues including affordable housing policies, lobbyist registration and reporting requirements, development plans, and renewable energy standards.