Campaign Finance

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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.

Major Campaign Finance Cases - Links to case materials and summaries of major campaign finance decisions, 

from the Supreme Court’s landmark 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo to recent decisions clearing the way for unlimited corporate spending and Super PACs. The Campaign Legal Center has been involved in every major case since 2003, including McConnell v. FEC

    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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  • 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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