9th Circuit Upholds Hawaii’s Disclosure Regulations & Contractor Contribution Ban


Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Hawaii’s contractor contribution ban and disclosure regulations in Yamada v. Snipes.  Plaintiff-Appellant A-1 A-Lectrician, Inc. (A-1), a government contractor, sought to overturn Hawaii’s pay-to-play law, as well as to invalidate a range of disclosure requirements applicable to independent spending in state elections.  The Campaign Legal Center filed an amicus brief with the Court in defense of Hawaii’s laws.

The Yamada case is part of a continuing flood of challenges to a broad range of campaign finance laws at the federal, state and local levels.  Courts nationwide have recognized that disclosure and pay-to-play laws like Hawaii’s serve important anticorruption and informational interests and have overwhelmingly upheld similar laws on those grounds. 

“The Court clearly recognized that contractor contributions pose a very real potential for corruption, and this contractor sought not only to strike down the ban itself, but also to do away with any disclosure of its independent spending in support of candidates — thus raising the threat significantly,” said Megan P. McAllen, Legal Center Associate Counsel.  “The ‘dark money’ political spending proposed by A-1 would further undermine the public’s trust in its elected officials and hide the sources of the money spent to elect them.”

To read the Court’s opinion, click here.

To read the Campaign Legal Center’s brief, click here.