SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - The California Supreme Court announced a unanimous order on Sunday requiring an Arizona non-profit corporation to comply with a trial court order by providing information to the Fair Political Practices Commission.
Americans for Responsible Leadership filed an emergency request for a temporary stay of the order a few hours after the announcement. The court denied the non-profit's request for the temporary stay.
The non-profit recently made a significant campaign contribution to a political action committee in California. The court order resulted from an audit by the FPPC to proceed expeditiously and to permit the commission to determine if Americans for Responsible Leadership complied with the Fair Political Practices Act. Compliance with the act requires disclosing the identities of its donors and other information before Tuesday's election.
In Fair Political Practices Commission vs. Americans for Responsible Leadership, S206407, the FPPC filed an application in the Sacramento Superior Court for a preliminary injunction to compel Americans for Responsible Leadership to produce documents related to the sizable donation. The non-profit made an $11 million donation less than three weeks ago to the Small Business Action Committee PAC, No on 30/Yes on 32.
The trial court issued the preliminary injunction on Wednesday and Americans for Responsible Leadership filed an appeal. The FPPC challenged the conclusion that the appeal filing stayed the trial court's injunction and sought an order to permit the injunction to take effect while the appeal is pending. On Friday, the Court of Appeal, Third District, denied FPPC's emergency petition for writ of mandate or other appropriate relief.
FPPC filed a petition in the California Supreme Court on Friday evening, requesting that the court lift the stay pending appeal to allow the commission to obtain the requested documents before Tuesday's election. The Supreme Court sought and received expedited briefing from both parties on Saturday and Sunday.
The court's order vacated the stay and directed Americans for Responsible Leadership to comply with the FPPC audit by 4 p.m. on Sunday.