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The Campaign Legal Center is committed to protecting our democratic system. A healthy democracy requires an engaged citizenry and functioning civic processes that allow citizens’ voices to be heard and that ensure public officials can be held accountable. We employ a variety of strategies to protect and improve the democratic process—litigating in courts to defend pro-democracy policies and challenge anti-democracy policies, participating in regulatory agency proceedings to interpret and enforce the law, and drafting pro-democracy laws and policies and advocating their adoption. We engage in this work at every level of government—municipal, county, state and federal.

  • Campaign Finance

    The way our elections are financed is directly related to the health of our democracy and the quality of our public policies.  The Campaign Legal Center understands the importance of laws and regulations that foster transparency and fairness as well as promote the robust competition of ideas that are a hallmark of a functioning democracy. Recent election cycles have seen troubling developments, with less disclosure of where big money is coming from, larger roles for Super PACS and 501(c)(4) and a dysfunctional regulatory system. We work to protect the integrity of our democracy by litigating a wide range of campaign finance cases at the federal and state level, and by participating in rulemaking proceedings and filing complaints at federal and state enforcement agencies. We also offer our perspective through reports, speeches and op-eds, and provide links to primary source material from court cases and administrative agency proceedings.

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  • Media Policy

    The Campaign Legal Center shapes political broadcasting policy by promoting awareness and enforcement of political broadcasting laws through rulemaking proceedings and complaints at the Federal Communications Commission, Congressional action, litigation in the courts and public education. We support efforts to revitalize competition in our democratic process by ensuring that the public airwaves serve as a forum for open and vibrant political debate, especially among candidates, through stronger public interest obligations for digital broadcasters and efforts to make the airwaves accessible to more candidates—not just those with deep pockets or access to special interest dollars to pay for political advertising.

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  • Redistricting

    Too many federal and state legislative districts are drawn to disenfranchise voters, especially minorities. Too often, politicians choose their voters, rather than voters choosing their representatives. The Campaign Legal Center undertakes litigation to challenge unfair district lines when merited, offers expertise on states’ processes for drawing legislative district lines, and works to support independent redistricting commissions.

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    Recent Cases

  • CLC v. ICE

    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. 

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  • Montanans for Community Development v. Mangan

    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.

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  • Abbott v. Perez

    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.  

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  • Campaign Legal Center v. Federal Election Commission (GEO)

    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.

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