San Diego Council Torpedoes CalAware’s Sunshine Bid
The half-year efforts of CalAware President Donna Frye and General Counsel Terry Francke to persuade the City Council to place open government and open data proposals on the ballot for voter adoption as charter amendments failed Wednesday when a Council committee refused to recommend such action by a 3-2 vote. As reported in a prior summary by Claire Trageser fo KPBS, several months ago the proposal was green-lighted by the same committee, but the Council sent it back for further study in case it might conflict somehow with the state ballot measure on open government, Proposition 42, although CalAware stated that there was no overlap between the two. The City Attorney advised the Council likewise, but only a few days before the committee re-voted and killed the measure.
Filing Records in Court under Seal Isn’t a Simple Option
Both state and federal courts in California are governed by rules making it clear that the parties to a case cannot simply file records under seal to avoid mutual embarrassment. California’s rules requiring good cause for filing under seal are tougher than those in federal court, but a recent case shows that even the latter require some showing of more harm than simple business preference. Three legal commentators accordingly caution fellow litigators against becoming complacent in seeking document sealing.
Court: Only individual voters can launch ballot initiatives, but they’re entitled to limited anonymity
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Chula Vista’s ordinance forbidding collectives like unions, associations or corporations to introduce ballot measures did not violate First Amendment association rights, but that individuals initiating such measures have a First Amendment right to anonymity, at least on the forms used in signature gathering. Paul Elias reports for the Associated Press.