Court cases

California’s People’s Lobby’s cut its wisdom teeth on the initiative process trying to qualify two Clean Environment Initiatives.  The second was successfully qualified in 1972, when signature gatherers themselves had to also cross verify the signatures collected with voter registration books.

In those campaigns, People’s Lobby added lawsuits to its arsenal of political reform making, thanks to the volunteer efforts of attorney Roger Jon Diamond.  Among his more prominent People’s Lobby cases are two Diamond v. Bland cases (links and case analysis to be added), which established shopping centers as the functional equivalent of town centers for signature gatherers.

The Clean Environment Initiative (CEI) of 1972 was one of the early precursors of the nuclear moratorium movement.  The CEI lost at the polls to a well-financed opposition campaign. Nonetheless, all of the clean environment changes it called for have come to pass — although in many cases it took years for them to be implemented.

The loss to big money caused People’s Lobby’s to focus its next initiative campaign to lessen the impact of  big money in campaigns.  In 1974 People’s Lobby successfully led a triumvirate of themselves, gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Common Cause to pass the Political Reform Act of 1974 by 70 %.  Called one of the toughest campaign reform laws in the country at that time, it established California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. (

Over the years Common Cause and others have worked to update and improve campaign laws.  Lawsuits have weakened and strengthened the initial 1974 Proposition 9 Political Reform Act.   Money and the power, influence and perceptions it buys was the crux of the political reform problem decades ago and remains the core problem today.   Some of the lawsuits that deal with  campaign reform issues will be listed here.

Click for summary of Buckley v Valeo 1976

Contribution limits okay.  Campaign expenditures protected by the First Amendment.

Click here for full text of:  Buckley v Valeo 1976:

Click for summary of Nixon v. Shrink 2000  

Contribution limits okay.  The perception of big money corrupting the political system carries some weight.

Click here for  full text of:  Nixon v. Shrink 2000:

Court cases filed by People’s Lobby:

1.          People’s Lobby v. Joe Gonzalves, LASC No. 104128 (1974); (LASC=Los Angeles Superior Court)

2.          Fair Political Practices Commission v. Superior Court, 25 Cal.3d 33 (1979);

3.          People’s Lobby v. The May Department Stores, LASC No. WEC30641 (1974;

4.          People’s Lobby v. Legislature of the State of California, Sacramento Superior Court No. 246263 (1974);

5.          Los Angeles County Fair Association v. People’s Lobby, LASC No. EAC112O5 (1970);

6.                   People’s Lobby v. Board of Supervisors, 30 Cal.App.3d 869 (1973);

7.                   People’s Lobby v. Post, California Supreme Court No. SAC7937;

8.                   People’s Lobby v. Ed Reinecke, LASC No. CA000151 (1974);

9.          People’s Lobby v. Ed Reinecke, LASC No. WEC25264 (1972);

10.        Helena Rubenstin International v. Younger, 71 Cal.App.3d 406 (1977);

11.        People’s Lobby v.Younger, LASC No. 98983 and Second Civil No. 45770 (Court of Appeal);

12.         People’s Lobby v. Standard Oil Company, LASC No. C24291     (1972);

13.         People’s Lobby v. Public Utilities Commission,  76 PUC 414 (1974);

14.         People’s Lobby v. Texaco,  LASC No. 984102 (1970);

15.         People’s Lobby v. Younger,  California Supreme Court No. SF23174 (1974);

16.         People’s Lobby v. Younger,  LASC No. 98983;

17.         Koupal v. Rosales,  LASC No. C138728;

18.        Koupal v. Los Angeles Air Pollution Control District,  USDC, Central District of California No. 70-92-FW (1970);

19.         Danielson v. Alioto,  San Francisco Superior Court No. 580381 and 680369 (1974);

20.         Diamond v. Bland,  3 Cal. 3d 653 (1970) and 11 Cal. 3d 331 (1974);

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