- Jul 28, 1998
The lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002 - eleven suits brought by more than 80 plaintiffs - were consolidated as McConnell v. FEC. The defendants in the case were the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission; the Act's principal congressional sponsors - Senators McCain, Feingold, Snowe and Jeffords and Congressmen Meehan and Shays -were intervenor-defendants. The Legal Center's attorneys were among the counsel to the congressional sponsors.
A three-judge trial panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a mixed decision on the law's constitutionality on May 1, 2003.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision on December 10, 2004, upholding all key aspects of the BCRA.
- Jan 9, 2003
In 2000, plaintiffs Christine Beaumont and North Carolina Right to Life (NCRL) challenged the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting corporations and labor unions from making direct contributions to candidates, as the prohibition applied to a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose was to engage in political advocacy. The Supreme Court upheld the corporate contribution prohibition in 2003, stating in its 7-2 opinion that it could not hold for the plaintiffs “without recasting our understanding of the risks of harm posed by corporate political contributions, of the expressive significance of contributions, and of the consequent deference owed to legislative judgments on what to do about them.”...
- Mar 1, 2005
Plaintiff, North Carolina Right to Life, Inc., (“NCRL”) brought this action in 1999 challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s definition “political committee," trigger for when a communication constituted electoral advocacy requiring disclosure and the contribution limit applicable to independent expenditure political committees...
- Sep 2, 2005
In October 2002, Reps. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Marty Meehan (D-MA) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the FEC challenging 19 regulations adopted by the FEC to implement Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). In September 2004, the District Court struck down 15 of the 19 contested regulations and ordered the FEC to rewrite the rules. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court decision.
- Sep 19, 2005
In August 2000, California Pro-Life Council (CPLC) filed a constitutional challenge to California’s reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to groups advocating for or against state ballot measures. In November 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court in part. However, the court found that such organizations could be required to report contributions exceeding $1,000 which were used for ballot measure advocacy...
- Nov 14, 2005
In February 2005, ballot measure committee Citizens to Save California challenged a California Fair Political Practices Commission regulation establishing a presumption that all contributions to a candidate-controlled ballot measure committee are contributions to a candidate for elective state office subject to candidate contribution limits. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s holding that the regulation conflicted with multiple provisions of the state’s Political Reform Act and thereby exceeded the FPPC’s authority; the court deemed it unnecessary to rule on the constitutional claims in the case...
- Feb 1, 2006
The U.S. Supreme Court granted cert on the questions of whether Vermont’s candidate expenditure limits contribution limits ranging from $200-$400 per candidate violate the First Amendment. The Court struck down both the expenditure limits and the contributions limits...
- Feb 3, 2006
Illinois’ highest court selects its judges through partisan elections. This case reached that court in 2002 following a $1.05 billion verdict against State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Company...
- Jun 23, 2006
In 2006, the Christian Civic League challenged the constitutionality of BCRA’s electioneering communications provision as applied to advertisement CCL alleged it wished to broadcast naming a candidate during the period before the election.
- Feb 9, 2007
In Valdes v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reviewed the conviction of a police officer under the federal gratuities statute accepting cash from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for searching law enforcement databases for information. The D.C. Circuit, sitting en banc, reversed the conviction, finding that the police officer’s action did not rise to the level of an “official act” as required by federal law because his use of the database was not part of a pending police matter and not part of his assigned official duties. It construed the term “official act” to include only those formal, official actions that are connected to a “class of questions or matters whose answer or disposition is determined by the government,” thereby greatly narrowing the scope and effectiveness of the federal prohibition on gratuities.
- May 10, 2007
In January 2004, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and others filed a constitutional challenge to several aspects of Arizona’s public campaign financing system. Plaintiffs eventually voluntarily dismissed their case, with similar issues being litigated in McComish v. Bennett.
- Jun 25, 2007
In 2007, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, held that BCRA’s prohibition on corporate electioneering communications—defined as broadcast ads within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election that named a candidate and were targeted at the relevant voters—was unconstitutional as applied to ads that did not constitute express advocacy of the election or defeat of a candidate or its functional equivalent...
- Jul 13, 2007
The State of Texas unsuccessfully sought preclearance approval under the Voting Rights Act of its 2011 voter photo ID law (SB 14); a three-judge court found the State failed to prove the law was non-discriminatory. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment following its decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
- Aug 22, 2007
In August 2005, a constitutional challenge was filed against various provisions of North Carolina’s public financing system for judicial elections. In May 2008, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld all challenged provisions of North Carolina’s judicial election public financing program...
- Aug 30, 2007
In September 2004, Reps. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Marty Meehan (D-MA) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the FEC’s failure to issue a rule regulating so-called 527 groups as “political committees” under federal campaign finance law. The court ordered the FEC to either adequately explain its decision regulate 527 organizations on a case-by-case basis, or to adopt a rule regulating 527 organizations...
- Sep 13, 2007
In September 2004, the WA State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) filed an enforcement action against the 527 group Voter Education Committee (VEC) for the organization’s failure to register as a state political committee and comply with state disclosure requirements. VEC filed a counter-suit challenging the state disclosure laws and claiming the state may only regulate “express advocacy,” not “issue advocacy.” Washington Supreme Court rejected VEC’s claim...
- Mar 5, 2008
In April 2006, mayoral candidate Michael Nutter filed suit to enforce Philadelphia’s newly-enacted contribution limits in connection to several individuals who allegedly were exploring mayoral candidacies but not abiding by those limits. In December 2007, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania upheld the City campaign finance law as a permissible exercise of the City’s home rule authority...
- Jun 13, 2008
In July 2006, Representatives Shays and Meehan challenged regulations promulgated by the FEC in response to an earlier case litigated by the Congressmen (Shays I). In June 2008, the Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision invalidating almost all sections challenged by plaintiffs in the FEC’s regulations on coordination and “federal election activity.”...
- Jun 26, 2008
In June 2006, self-funded candidate Jack Davis filed suit in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia challenging the “Millionaire’s Amendment” of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (a.k.a. McCain-Feingold Law). The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Millionaire’s Amendment violated Davis’ First Amendment rights...
- Oct 14, 2008
In July 2006, the local chamber of commerce (COMPAC) challenged San Jose’s limits on contributions to political committees making only independent expenditures in municipal elections. The district court struck down the limits on September 20, 2006. On October 14, 2008, the Ninth Circuit vacated the district court’s decision, holding that the district court should have abstained from hearing the case...
- Nov 10, 2008
Plaintiffs brought the case in September 2006 to obtain a declaratory judgment confirming that the City of Ocean City, NJ has the home rule authority to adopt an ordinance that would provide for public financing in municipal elections. The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed the trial court’s decision that Ocean City was preempted by state law with respect to public financing...
- Mar 9, 2009
This case involved the question of whether Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act requires redistricting authorities to draw election lines that allow a racial minority group to elect a candidate of choice when the minority group constitutes less than 50 percent of the voting-age population and elects their preferred candidate with ‘crossover votes’ from non-minority voters...
- Mar 25, 2009
A small utility district near Austin unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required the Department of Justice or the United States District Court for D.C. to approve all voting changes in certain jurisdictions before those changes could go into effect...
- Jun 8, 2009
In 2006, litigant Caperton filed a motion requesting that Justice Brent Benjamin of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recuse himself from the appeal of the $50 million jury verdict in a contract dispute between two litigant mining companies. The U.S. Supreme Court held “that there is a serious risk of actual bias—based on objective and reasonable perceptions—when a person with a personal stake in a particular case had a significant and disproportionate influence in placing the judge on the case” and that recusal was required in this case...
- Sep 8, 2009
In February 2008, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) challenged a provision in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) that requires a lobbying coalition, such as NAM, to disclose any member organizations of the coalition that fund the coalition’s lobbying activities and “actively participate” in such lobbying activities. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the constitutionality of the disclosure provision on September 8, 2009...
- Sep 18, 2009
In January 2005, EMILY’s List challenged multiple FEC regulations regarding use of federal “hard money” to pay for activities directed at both state and federal elections. In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down three challenged FEC regulations, holding that they violated the First Amendment and exceeded the FEC’s authority...
- Jan 21, 2010
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court on January 21, 2010 struck down the 60-year-old federal prohibition on corporate independent expenditures in candidate elections in Citizens United v. FEC. By a vote of 8-1, however, the Supreme Court, upheld the electioneering communications disclosure provisions that were enacted as a part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)...
- Feb 11, 2010
In November 2008, the RNC filed a challenge to the federal limits on coordinated spending between political parties and their candidates for federal office. In September 2010, the en banc Fifth Circuit rejected all of plaintiffs’ claims, and upheld the party coordinated spending limits...
- Mar 2, 2010
On January 10, 2007, Unity08, a self-described “nascent political party,” brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging a FEC advisory opinion finding that it was a “political committee” under FECA even though it had not yet nominated its presidential and vice-presidential candidates. In March 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that that Unity08 was not subject to regulation as a political committee unless and until it selected a “clearly identified” candidate...
- Mar 26, 2010
In March 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the federal contribution limits as applied to “independent expenditure committees,” finding that the Supreme Court’s analysis in Citizens United required it to “conclude that the government has no anti-corruption interest in limiting contributions to an independent expenditure group.” The court, however, upheld the political committee disclosure requirements as applied to such groups. These independent expenditure only committees are today commonly referred t to as “Super PACs.”...
- Jun 20, 2010
In November 2008, the RNC brought a constitutional challenge to the “soft money” restrictions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) that bar the national parties from raising or spending soft money and prohibit state parties from using soft money for activities that affect federal elections, such as voter registration or GOTV drives. On June 29, 2010, the Supreme Court summarily affirmed the decision of the three-judge panel to dismiss the RNC’s challenge...
- Sep 20, 2010
Ohio Right to Life (ORTL) filed suit to challenge multiple provisions of Ohio’s campaign finance law, including its “electioneering communications” corporate funding prohibition and related disclosure requirements. In September 2008, the district court rejected ORTL’s request to enjoin Ohio’s electioneering communications disclosure requirements...
- Dec 6, 2010
Pierce O’Donnell was indicted for contributing $26,000 of his money to the Edwards for President campaign through 13 individuals—primarily employees of his law firm—with the understanding that he would either advance them funds or reimburse them after the contribution was made. In June 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court decision and held that federal law “prohibits straw donor contributions, in which a defendant solicits others to donate to a candidate for federal office in their own names and furnishes the money for the gift either through an advance or a prearranged reimbursement.”...
- Feb 22, 2011
These consolidated cases, initiated in 2006, challenged the constitutionality of Connecticut’s campaign finance reform legislation, which included a public financing system and pay-to-play restrictions which prohibited contributions from lobbyists, state contractors, and members of their immediate families. In a 2010 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld most of the public funding program and the ban on contributions by state contractors...
- Feb 22, 2011
In April 2008, Human Life of Washington (HLW) challenged the constitutionality of several components of the State of Washington’s political committee disclosure regime, including the State’s definitions of “political committee,” “independent expenditure,” and “political advertising.” In October 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court decision rejecting all claims asserted by HLW.
- Apr 21, 2011
On April 21, 2011, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) sued the FEC in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, arguing that a 2007 regulation improperly narrowed the scope of federal disclosure requirements connected to electioneering communications...
- Jun 9, 2011
In December 2009, plaintiffs filed a constitutional challenge to several provisions of San Diego’s campaign finance laws. In June 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld San Diego’s “non-individual entities” contribution prohibition as to corporations and other associations, but enjoined the prohibition as applied to political parties. The Ninth Circuit also affirmed the district court’s decision to enjoin the contribution limits as applied to independent expenditure groups...
- Jun 27, 2011
In August 2008, plaintiffs challenged the “matching funds trigger provisions” of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act, which provided participating candidates with additional funds if a non-participating opponent or outside group spent above a certain threshold. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the “trigger provisions” violated the First Amendment rights of non-participating candidates and independent spenders...
- Mar 26, 2012
In March 2010, plaintiffs filed suit to challenge Montana’s corporate expenditure restriction, M.C.A. § 13-35-227, claiming that the ban was unconstitutional under Citizens United v. FEC. On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and summarily reversed the Montana Supreme Court’s order, citing Citizens United...
- Apr 12, 2012
The League of Women Voters of Florida filed this lawsuit in state court claiming that redistricting plans adopted by the Florida legislature violated the Florida Constitution’s provisions that provide that district boundaries not be drawn so as to favor any incumbent or political party over another...
- Sep 5, 2012
The plaintiffs rely on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC to challenge Minnesota’s restriction on corporate contributions to state candidates and political parties, and its state disclosure requirements for corporate independent expenditures.
- Oct 11, 2012
CLC attorneys represented LULAC and individual voters in Harris County Texas who filed suit challenging Harris County’s voter registration practices and procedures under several provisions of federal law. The case was eventually resolved by stipulation...
- Oct 23, 2012
In 2009, Plaintiffs filed suit to prevent Washington State from making petitions connected to a state ballot measure publicly available under the state Public Records Act. Plaintiffs argued that the state records law was facially unconstitutional in connection to ballot measure petitions, and the law was unconstitutional as applied to petitions for Referendum 71, a domestic partnership ballot measure. They argued that, because supporters of the measure had experienced harassment, they were entitled to an exemption from disclosure. On June 24, 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the law on its face. However, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the district court for consideration of the remaining as-applied “harassment” claim, which the district court rejected in 2011. Plaintiffs subsequently appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which found that the release of petitions following the lower court’s decision rendered moot plaintiffs’ as-applied claim and dismissed the case.
- Nov 9, 2012
On August 5, 2010, plaintiffs filed a sweeping lawsuit challenging numerous aspects of Wisconsin campaign finance law, included the state’s definition of “political committee” and various disclosure and reporting requirements applicable to “independent expenditure organizations.” In 2014, a Seventh Circuit panel struck down much of the “dizzying array of statutes and rules” under challenge...
- Jan 7, 2013
In July 2008, The Real Truth About Obama filed suit to enjoin four FEC regulations governing when independent groups must register as federal political committees and comply with the applicable federal restrictions and disclosure requirements...
- Jun 25, 2013
A county in Alabama successfully challenged the continued constitutionality of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, which contained a formula identifying those jurisdictions that had to comply with the “preclearance” requirements of Section 5—i.e., receive approval from the Department of Justice or the United States District Court for D.C. before making any changes to voting rules.
- Aug 9, 2013
On October 19, 2011, plaintiffs filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to challenge the constitutionality of the federal government contractor contribution ban as applied to individuals who have personal services contracts with federal agencies...
- Aug 12, 2013
North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory challenged North Carolina HB 589, which eliminated same day registration, slashed the state’s early voting period by a full week, got rid of the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year olds, barred out-of-precinct provisional ballots from being counted, and instituted a strict voter ID requirement. This suit claimed that these actions violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. On April 25, 2016 a federal district court in North Carolina ruled in favor of defendants. However, the case will likely be appealed.
- Sep 12, 2013
In August 2010, plaintiffs filed suit to challenge multiple aspects of Hawaii state campaign finance law, including the statutory definitions of “political committee” and “expenditure,” several disclosure provisions and the state restriction on contributions from government contractors. On March 21, 2011, the district court upheld all of these challenged provisions, and plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals...
- Apr 2, 2014
The Republican National Committee and donor Shaun McCutcheon brought suit to challenge the $74,600 aggregate limit on contributions to non-candidate committees and the $48,600 aggregate limit on contributions to candidate committees in a two-year election cycle. On April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court struck down the aggregate limits, holding that the aggregate limits did not meaningfully prevent circumvention of the base limits or otherwise prevent quid pro quo corruption or its appearance...
- Jun 2, 2014
Delaware Strong Families (DSF) is challenging Delaware’s “electioneering communications” disclosure provisions both on its face and as applied to its voter guide regarding “family issues.” The district court entered a preliminary injunction against the defendants on April 8, 2014, and the case is currently on appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals...
- Jul 1, 2014
On September 6, 2011, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit challenging multiple provisions of Montana’s campaign finance law, including state limits on contributions from individuals, political committees and state political parties to candidates...
- Jul 2, 2014
In 2009, Vermont Right to Life Committee (VRLC) challenged Vermont’s campaign finance law's disclosure provisions and contribution limits as applied to VRLC's fund that allegedly makes only independent expenditures. The district court upheld the challenged disclosure provisions and contribution limit and the court of appeals affirmed...
- Aug 22, 2014
Plaintiffs filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of Mississippi’s campaign finance disclosure requirements as they apply to small groups and individuals intending to support or oppose state constitutional ballot measures.
- Sep 24, 2014
Plaintiffs filed suit seeking to block a nearly two-year investigation into alleged illegal coordination between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and outside groups during the 2012 attempt to recall Walker. On September 24, 2014, the Seventh Circuit dismissed the suit...
- Sep 25, 2014
On September 2, 2014, the Independence Institute filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s “electioneering communication” disclosure provisions, which require a group spending over $1,000 on television, radio or print ads that mention the name of a state candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary election to disclose its donors...
- Sep 26, 2014
In 2009, an unsuccessful candidate for Arizona judicial office filed suit to challenge canons of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct, alleging that the canons violate his First Amendment rights...
- Sep 30, 2014
The state Republican parties of New York and Tennessee challenged an SEC rule barring investment firms from managing state assets for two years after a firm or its associates make more than de minimis contributions to officeholders or candidates who have or would have power to award investment contracts.
- Oct 22, 2014
On January 31, 2014, Public Citizen filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the FEC’s failure to investigate whether Crossroads GPS meets the legal definition of a “political committee.” ...
- Oct 29, 2014
On October 2, 2014, Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates (CRG) filed suit to challenge Wisconsin state laws and regulations governing spending by outside groups coordinated with candidates. On November 6, 2014, the district court entered the parties’ stipulated preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law as applied to CRG...
- Dec 16, 2014
On October 17, 2014, plaintiffs filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado challenging Colorado’s electioneering communication disclosure requirements as facially overbroad, and challenging the associated $1,000 reporting threshold and the state’s private enforcement scheme for campaign finance violations under the First Amendment...
- Feb 12, 2015
Petitioner, a judicial candidate for a Florida County Court, filed suit challenging the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct rule prohibiting candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds. The Florida Supreme Court found petitioner guilty of violating the solicitation prohibition and rejected her argument that the prohibition violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court of the United States upheld that decision...
- Feb 12, 2015
The Arizona State Legislature is challenging a voter-passed state constitutional amendment creating an independent redistricting commission.
- Feb 17, 2015
CLC Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert joined with a dozen other nationally recognized election law professors in a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to accept a case and overturn a state supreme court ruling upholding North Carolina’s redistricting.
- Mar 6, 2015
In May 2014, the Colorado Republican Party (CRP) filed suit in state court seeking a declaratory judgment that would allow it to establish an independent expenditure committee, or “Super PAC,” that could operate outside the otherwise applicable state limits for contributions to political parties...
- Jun 23, 2015
Just like Baca v. Berry, this case involves an attempt by the City of Albuquerque to recover attorneys’ fees against individual civil rights plaintiffs. After Mary Han, a prominent Albuquerque attorney who had filed several major police brutality cases against the Albuquerque Police Department, was found dead in her car, the police seriously bungled the death investigation. Although the police ruled the death a suicide, the state attorney general’s office, condemning the investigation, changed the cause of death to “undetermined.”...
- Sep 28, 2015
The case challenges the State of Texas’ use of U.S. Census total population numbers for redistricting the state’s 31 state Senate seats as is commonly done in most states. Appellants seek to have the court compel the State of Texas to utilize the number of voting age citizens or the number of registered voters to reapportion and redistrict legislative seats.
- Oct 26, 2015
Plaintiff Mathis Kearse Wright Jr. alleged two changes to the Sumter County Board of Education electoral violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because they diluted black voting power in the Georgia County’s school board elections. The first change involved the creation of two at-large districts, which favored the election of white-preferred candidates over black-preferred candidates by diluting black voting strength. The second change concerns the boundaries of the county’s five single-member districts, which packed black voters into only two districts. The changes are expected to lead to a 5-2 majority of white-preferred candidates on the county board in a county that is 48% black in voting age population.
- Nov 2, 2015
Appellants brought this challenge to the 2012 Arizona redistricting plan alleging that the minor population deviations in the plan were motivated by pro-Democratic partisanship. The district court found that they were not. Instead, the district court held that the minor population deviations were motivated by the Commission’s goal of achieving Section 5 preclearance on the first attempt. Now, Appellants urge this Court to hold that achieving Section 5 preclearance approval was not a legitimate or rational justification for the minor population deviations.
- Feb 1, 2016
Plaintiffs, Black residents of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, brought this Voting Rights Act challenge to the 2012 redistricting plan for Hattiesburg’s City Council. Due to shifts in population, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is now a majority-Black city. Black voters comprise the largest voting group in Hattiesburg and voting in the city is extremely racially polarized. In 2012, the White-majority City Council, over the objections of the Black members, adopted a redistricting plan that ensures that white majorities will control three out of the five City Council wards. The district court held that the plan is “roughly proportional” and therefore rejected Plaintiffs’ Voting Rights Act challenge. On appeal, Plaintiffs-Appellants argue that the plan deprives Black voters of an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice.
- Mar 2, 2016
The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is representing voters in Quitman County, Miss. against a legal action seeking more than $300K in attorneys’ fees. Longtime civil rights attorney Ellis Turnage brought a lawsuit on behalf of two voters challenging the county’s redistricting plan. Before trial, plaintiffs decided to dismiss the case. The county then turned around and claimed the suit was “frivolous,” seeking attorneys’ fees against Turnage and his clients.
- Apr 8, 2016
Former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell was convicted on public corruption charges for accepting $175,000 in gifts and loans—including a Rolex watch, a custom golf bag, and expensive vacations and shopping sprees—from multi-millionaire Jonnie Williams, and then using his official position to promote the interests of Williams and his company, Star Scientific.
- Apr 22, 2016
The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Federal Election Commission for dismissing five complaints that CLC and D21 filed with the agency. The dismissed complaints called for FEC investigation into donors who broke disclosure laws by hiding behind personal Limited Liability Companies (LLC) to anonymously make contributions to super PACs.
- Jul 28, 2016
CLC is representing seven civic groups in a friend-of-the-court brief asking the Supreme Court of Illinois to allow a constitutional amendment establishing an independent redistricting commission to be voted on by the people in November 2016.
- Sep 14, 2016
In 2013, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office issued an administrative policy directive that cancels voter registration applications if they do not match exactly with existing records in the Georgia Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration (SSA) databases unless the voter takes burdensome steps to resolve the problem prior to Election Day.
- Sep 14, 2016
In the wake of the 2010 census, the Virginia General Assembly redrew the legislative districts for the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia. The General Assembly purposely drew 12 districts to each have a set majority population of minorities — specifically, an African American voting age population that met or exceeded a pre-determined 55 percent threshold. In so doing, the Virginia legislature did not consider whether such a high concentration of minorities in those districts was necessary to enable minority voters to elect candidates of their choice in those districts or, instead, merely diminished minority voters’ impact elsewhere in the state.
- Sep 15, 2016
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) sets individual contribution limits to federal candidates at $2,700 per election — with primaries, general elections, runoffs and special elections each counted separately.
- Oct 13, 2016
Our lawsuit, Thompson v. Alabama, is a challenge to Alabama’s law, which is one of the most severe and discriminatory in the nation. Our legal team has developed a number for legal theories and claims that will create a legally viable pathway for changing the jurisprudence on the issue of felon disenfranchisement in Alabama and possibly nationwide.
- Dec 1, 2016
Americans for Prosperity Foundation has failed to comply with California state law by providing its list of donors with the AG's office. They are challenging the law. CLC filed a brief in favor of the law, which seeks to protect taxpayers against fraud.
- May 22, 2017
The federal campaign laws have long placed limits on what individuals and certain entities can give to political parties in connection with federal elections. The Republican Party of Louisiana is asking a three-judge federal district court in D.C. to undo the “soft money” limits applicable to state and local party committees engaged in federal election activity.
- Jun 14, 2017
CLC joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fun in filing a brief in support of the plaintiff, arguing that protections of the Voting Rights Act override state sovereignty in order to protect voters and hold state officials accountable for racially discriminatory election laws.
- Jun 15, 2017
CLC is seeking to compel DOJ to disclose requested records that would gather information about how DOJ reached its conclusion to rescind administration policy to phase-out private prison contracts and whether GEO Group's contributions to a Trump super PAC played a role in the decision.
- Jun 28, 2017
In December 2016, an organization filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court challenging S.B. 1107, legislation which amended California’s Political Reform Act to empower the state and local governments to establish citizen-funded elections.
- Jun 30, 2017
The King Street Patriots challenged the constitutionality of numerous provisions of Texas campaign finance law, including the state restriction on corporate contributions, and the disclosure and organizational requirements applicable to political committees. The state district court rejected KSP’s challenge, and in October 2014, the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision...
- Jun 30, 2017
In 2015, a group of individual voters in Virginia challenged the 2011 Virginia General Assembly maps as violating the state constitution, arguing that the map drawers subordinated compactness and prioritized partisan criteria in order to achieve self-interested political objectives.
- Aug 1, 2017
Thompson v. Hebdon is a First Amendment challenge to Alaska’s campaign finance law, including its contribution limits for state legislative candidates and its limit on contributions from out-of-state donors. CLC filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Ninth Circuit Court.
- Aug 25, 2017
In 2011, the Texas legislature enacted Senate Bill 14, the nation’s strictest voter photo ID law that leaves more than half a million eligible voters who do not have the requisite types of ID from fully participating in the democratic process.
- Aug 28, 2017
CLC is part of a litigation team representing 12 Wisconsin voters who have challenged the state’s Assembly district lines as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in Gill v. Whitford. Our case was the first purely partisan gerrymandering case to go to trial in 30 years and has the potential to give the Court its firs clear legal standard that can curb the undemocratic practice nationwide.
- Sep 27, 2017
Elster v. City of Seattle is a First Amendment challenge to Seattle’s new public campaign financing program. Plaintiffs in the case, two Seattle property owners, aim to have the law struck down as unconstitutional.
- Dec 8, 2017
Three politically active Americans are suing the Donald Trump campaign and political consultant Roger Stone for violating their privacy and civil rights in the 2016 presidential election. They allege that the Trump campaign played a role in their private information being distributed worldwide after the widely publicized hack of the DNC.
- Jan 12, 2018
The Campaign Legal Center is part of a litigation team representing the League of Women Voters of North Carolina as well as numerous individual voters who have challenged the state’s congressional district lines as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
- Jan 24, 2018
Fair Districts Colorado, a redistricting reform group, proposed a series of ballot initiatives that seek to establish independent redistricting commissions (IRCs) to draw Colorado’s state legislative and congressional district lines.
- Jan 26, 2018
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a challenge to the state’s 2011 congressional district map. The challengers argue that the map is an extreme partisan gerrymander, in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Free Expression and Association Clauses, as well as its Equal Protection guarantees and the Free and Equal Clause.
- Jan 29, 2018
Residents from the state of Maryland have brought a partisan gerrymandering challenge claiming their First Amendment rights were violated and they were discriminated against because of their political party affiliations when the state drastically redrew the sixth congressional district to unseat the incumbent Republican member of congress and ensure the election of a Democrat. ...
- Feb 1, 2018
Zimmerman v. City of Austin is a First Amendment challenge to Austin’s municipal campaign finance law, including its contribution limits for city council candidates. CLC is arguing that Austin’s contribution limits should be upheld.
- Feb 13, 2018
Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky is a challenge to a Minnesota law that restricts the wearing of political apparel inside the polling place on Election Day. The law has been in place since 1893, helping to prevent voter intimidation and ensure orderly and safe elections. CLC’s argues that the law’s legitimate applications serve important purposes that protect voting as the core of American democracy.
- Mar 1, 2018
Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Alabama is a legal challenge to Alabama’s restrictive voter photo ID law. In 2011, Alabama passed a law that required that citizens present one of a list of permissible photo IDs in order to vote. The undisputed evidence in this case was that black and Latino voters in Alabama are more likely to lack the required identification to vote. Thousands of voters have had their provisional ballots rejected due to the restrictive photo ID law.
- Apr 2, 2018
CLC v. FEC (GEO) is a case about the FEC’s delay in enforcing federal campaign finance law against GEO Group, one of America’s largest private prison companies, which illegally made $225,000 in contributions to a super PAC supporting then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
- Apr 4, 2018
The state of Texas should not be able to insulate themselves from judicial review for unlawful redistricting simply by cloaking themselves under the cover of a temporary court ruling that was expressly confined and declared subject to change. Rather, when a state engages in unlawful redistricting, the state should be liable when it reaffirms that unlawful decision by reenacting the same unlawful districts without change.
- Apr 6, 2018
Montanans for Community Development (“MCD”) v. Mangan is a challenge to Montana’s disclosure laws, which serve to protect voters’ ability to know who is behind the election advertising they see, read, or hear. The laws at issue require political groups that spend money to influence Montana voters to disclose basic information about their finances so that voters are able to evaluate the electoral messages they receive.
- Apr 10, 2018
This case seeks to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to disclose operating agreements related to its Northwest Detention Facility in Tacoma, Washington, which may show that the subsidiary of a private prison company has a direct relationship with a federal contract—contradicting public denials from its leadership and raising further questions about the legality of its political contributions.
- Apr 27, 2018
In Campaign Legal Center v. General Services Administration, Campaign Legal Center (“CLC”) is suing the General Services Administration (“GSA”) over its refusal to provide travel records responsive to CLC’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request.
- May 24, 2018
Campaign Legal Center v. United States Department of Justice was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Department of Justice (DOJ) denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information on the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. CLC, along with pro bono counsel Adam Miller of Buckley Sandler, LLP, filed the complaint on May 21, 2018.