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  • "Chilling Speech" Argument Has No Traction on High Court

    Jun 18, 2010

    Despite the histrionics of the special interests in Washington, the core of the DISCLOSE Act is about disclosing the individuals or entities spending huge amounts of money to impact elections. It is not about suppressing free speech.

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  • Limited Exemption Consistent with Court

    Jun 18, 2010

    The Supreme Court's Opinion in Citizens United makes it clear that the Court believes disclosure of the sources of funding for political ads during election campaigns is not only constitutional but desirable. Justice Kennedy stated that disclosure of the sources of funding of political advertising "provide[s] the electorate with information" and "insure[s] that the voters are fully informed about the person or group who is speaking." Eight of the nine Justices joined this portion of the Court's Opinion. This principle is embodied in the disclosure provisions of the DISCLOSE Act.

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  • Self-Proclaimed Advocacy Group Citizens United Seeks Media Exemption from FEC to Hide Donors

    Jun 9, 2010

    Today the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed comments with the Federal Election Commission regarding the Commission’s two alternative draft responses to an advisory opinion request by Citizens United seeking the “media exemption” from federal campaign finance disclosure laws for its “documentary” filmmaking (Draft Advisory Opinions 2010-08). The Commission is scheduled to consider this matter at its meeting tomorrow, June 10.

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  • Rattling the Vote Cage - Part II

    Aug 15, 2008

    In my first posting on voter intimidation, I set forth the legal standard for bringing cases under Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act and set forth references to legislative history that make it clear that proof of intent is not required to establish a violation.  Voter intimidation remains a problem facing voters across the country and Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act could become an important enforcement tool this fall. 

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  • Rattling the Vote Cage - Part I

    Aug 8, 2008

    In the coming weeks, I plan to lay out in some expanding detail the rights of voters to bring cases under the anti-intimidation statute of the Voting Rights Act:  Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act (42 U.S. C. 1973i(b)).  Today, I begin by examining the relevant legislative history of the statute and the legal standard for bringing cases under Section 11(b).  In future postings, I will discuss the type of conduct that has been deemed to be prohibited under Section 11(b), standing to bring suit to enforce the provision, and the type of relief that may be sought in order to provide effective relief. 

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  • DTV, FCC, NAB and FEC: An Unhealthy Recipe for Alphabet Soup?

    Aug 15, 2007

    The transition to digital television (DTV) has been going on for more than a decade and the FCC still hasn’t defined the public interest obligations for broadcasters in the digital age. Today the Campaign Legal Center joined 27 other organizations in an FCC filing urging the Commission to rectify this problem. Oddly enough the National Association of Broadcasters filed FEC reports yesterday revealing the trade association spent more than $4.2 million on lobbying in the first six months of 2007.

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  • Vote Caging and the Attorney General

    When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning, vote caging by the Republican Party and the related actions and inactions by the Department of Justice (DOJ) deserve careful examination.  When former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty testified before Congress last month, he offered to have DOJ look into the issue of vote caging (“If you’re raising with me as Deputy Attorney General the question of caging votes, I’m very happy to work with you on that concern.”).[1] It would be interesting to ask the Attorney General for a progress report on how the DOJ review/inquiry into vote caging is going. 

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