- Apr 5, 2013
Emboldened by the conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court, ideological and interest group opponents of campaign finance regulation have brought an unprecedented number of cases in the last years to challenge campaign finance laws at the federal, state and municipal levels. The Legal Center today released an updated summary of that litigation to help readers keep track.
In 2012 and the first months of 2013, reform opponents continued their attempt to extend the reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC to challenge a broad range of campaign finance laws. In a welcome change from past years, however, courts have more often than not rejected their attacks.
- Mar 26, 2013
After the recent Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room Dedication at the Legal Center, Stephen Colbert highlighted the event last night on the Colbert Report. As Mr. Colbert stated on his show, Ham’s memory will forever live on at the Campaign Legal Center.
To watch the Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room highlights on the Colbert Report, click here.
- Mar 25, 2013
Last week the Republican National Committee published its Growth & Opportunity Project report “provid[ing] an honest review of the 2012 election cycle and a path forward for the Republican Party to ensure success in winning more elections.” When it comes to campaign finance policy, the RNC apparently believes that the path forward is a journey back in time to the pre-McCain-Feingold era, claiming that “the free speech rights of political parties and federal candidates remain smothered by McCain-Feingold” and recommending that a variety of contribution limits applicable to political party committees and federal candidates be repealed or increased.
- Mar 21, 2013
Stephen Colbert lent a hand in the christening of the Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room tonight, offering up videotaped remarks for the crowd. The event also saw the unveiling of a larger-than-life portrait of the popular Comedy Central host, which will hang over the mantel at the Legal Center.
As Mr. Colbert explained in his remarks, the renaming of the conference room was the string attached to the contribution.
- Mar 15, 2013
My participation in Legacy International’s Legislative Fellows delegation to Egypt this week has included a great deal of discussion regarding what constitutes “true” democracy. The Egyptians we’ve met have used words including “true” and “pure” to describe the democracy we have in the U.S., contrasting our system with the political system that’s been built in Egypt since the 2011 revolution, which is widely perceived by Egyptians to fall short of “true” democracy.
- Mar 14, 2013
After the recent Supreme Court argument in the Voting Rights Act case (Shelby County v. Holder), it appears the decision may well turn on the legal standards to be applied in deciding whether Section 5 of the Act, the preclearance section, has become unconstitutional with the passage of time.
- Mar 13, 2013
Democracy is a complicated business. That is true anywhere in the world and many of the same issues arise regardless of the continent. Redistricting I have found in Egypt is every bit as controversial as it is in Texas, in fact more so.
I am currently participating in a U.S. delegation to Egypt hosted by the nonprofits Legacy International and the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Joining me on this delegation are two former Members of Congress, Scott Klug, Public Affairs Director at Foley & Lardner and Larry LaRocco, Policy Director at Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Shreck, along with Legacy International’s Vice President of Professional Programs, Marlene Ginsberg.
- Mar 1, 2013
The 2012 election, the first Presidential election following the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, was characterized by the dramatic rise of “dark money.” Most estimates calculate that the amount of money spent during the cycle by nonprofit groups that did not disclose their funders totaled as much as $400 million. Yet the federal response to this surge in unaccountable spending has been inaction, dysfunction and gridlock.
- Feb 28, 2013
We were both in the courtroom yesterday for the oral argument in the Shelby County, Alabama, voting rights case, and were particularly struck by one aspect of the arguments: the strange persistence of the myth that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is an adequate substitute for Section 5. The working theory seems to be that if Section 5 is declared unconstitutional or the coverage formula in Section 4 is struck down, there’s always Section 2 of the Act. We call that a theory because there is no basis in reality for believing it.
Solicitor General Don Verrilli told the Justices that Section 2 cases are not an adequate substitute for Section 5, emphasizing that the voter has to bear the burden of proof and other heavy burdens, including cost. Attorney Debo Adegbile followed that up with the point that Sections 2 and 5 work in tandem, with Section 5 often needed to insure that gains won in Section 2 cases are protected.