Challenge to Long Beach Campaign Reform Act, Plus Civil Rights and Employment Matters - Civil Rights Law - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Challenge to Long Beach Campaign Reform Act, Plus Civil Rights and Employment Matters

Long Beach Area Chamber of Comm. v. Long Beach, No. 07-55691, involved an action challenging the Long Beach Campaign Reform Act (LBCRA), which prohibited "persons" from making any independent expenditures if they received contributions above certain amounts, as applied to the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and its affiliated political action committees (PACs).  The court of appeals reversed summary judgment for plaintiff Chamber, holding that the Chamber failed to demonstrate that it suffered or faced a real and immediate threat of suffering an injury that was fairly traceable to the LBCRA.  However, the court reversed summary judgment against the PACs, on the ground that, though the City identified several governmental interests that purportedly were served by the LBCRA, it did not show that any was "sufficiently important" to support the LBCRA's application to the PACs.

Ventress v. Japan Airlines, No. 08-15731, concerned plaintiff-flight engineer's action under various whistleblower protection laws against an airline.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part judgment on the pleadings for one defendant and the confirmation of an arbitral award in favor of another, on the grounds that 1) the filing and denial of a motion to disqualify an arbitrator in one arbitration did not establish bias in a subsequent arbitration, and the arbitrator's supposed affiliations, and plaintiff's unsupported assertions about their ideologies, did not establish bias; 2) plaintiff chose to bring only California state-law claims, argued strenuously that California's interests were paramount, waited nearly a year--until a substantive motion was pending against their complaint-- before attempting to amend it, and did not show that Hawaii law was different on the merits.  However, the judgment reversed in part, on the ground that plaintiff's state-law claim was not "related to" a "service" for purposes of Federal Airline Deregulation Act preemption.

Arizona v. Harkins Amusement Enters., No. 08-16075, concerned an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) action claiming discriminatory accommodations at defendant's movie theaters.  The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of the complaint, on the ground that the district court was correct in holding that the ADA does not require Harkins to utilize open captioning as a matter of law, but closed captioning and audio descriptions were "auxiliary aids and services" that a movie theater may be required to provide under the ADA.

Plata v. Schwarzenegger, No. 09-15864, involved a class action challenge deficiencies in prison medical care that allegedly violated the Eighth Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The court affirmed the appointment of a receiver, on the grounds that 1) the Prison Litigation Reform Act did not deprive the district court of its equitable power to appoint a receiver in prison litigation; 2) the district court correctly found that a receivership was the least intrusive means of remedying constitutional violations in prisoner health care; and 3) the court lacked jurisdiction to review the district court's refusal to terminate the receiver's construction plan.

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