- Jan 30, 2018
Paul Smith argued the Wisconsin case before the Supreme Court. Smith, vice president for litigation and strategy at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, has argued 21 cases before the high court, including Vieth v. Jubelirer, a 2004 Pennsylvania gerrymandering case in which the court ruled 5-4 that Pennsylvania’s districts were not unconstitutional. In that case, the majority held that the court could take no action given the lack of a clear standard for determining gerrymandering. YES! Contributing Editor Fran Korten spoke with Smith about the Wisconsin gerrymandering case.
Southern Coalition for Social Justice: Supreme Court Grants North Carolina’s Application to Delay Redrawing of Electoral Maps, Putting Fair Elections in North Carolina in Jeopardy For…Jan 30, 2018
On January 18th the Supreme Court said North Carolina does not have to redraw its congressional voting maps by January 29, as a federal district court ordered on January 9 when it struck down the 2016 map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) represent the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, in this legal challenge to state’s 2016 maps. North Carolina’s maps have been in dispute since 2012, and the Supreme Court invalidated the state’s 2012 and 2014 maps as a racial gerrymander. In 2016, North Carolina voters went to the polls with the current map, which the district court has now also ruled unconstitutional.
Paul Smith and Marcia Coyle in Conversation: Gerrymandering at the Supreme Court (The National Law Journal)Jan 30, 2018
On January 30, 2018, Paul Smith, CLC Senior Legal Counsel, was interviewed by Marcia Coyle in regards to the current U.S. Supreme Court gerrymandering cases.
- Jan 29, 2018
Could Arpaio use campaign contributions to get rid of some of that debt? "The answer is probably not," Lawrence Noble, senior director for the Campaign Legal Center, confirmed. The Federal Election Commission bans candidates from spending campaign funds for their own personal use, Noble explains. Whether legal expenses are considered to be a personal use is determined on a case-by-case basis. In the past, the FEC has allowed campaign money to be spent on legal bills only in cases where, in the commission's words, "such expenses would not have occurred had the individual not been a candidate or officeholder."
- Jan 29, 2018
CLC’s clients’ challenge to Alabama’s law that has stripped up to 280,000 people with convictions of their right to vote, Thompson v. Alabama, will move forward after a ruling from the Middle District of Alabama in late December denying the state’s attempt to dismiss the case. Today, the district court entered an order putting the case on track for a trial in Montgomery on May 6, 2019.
The Daily Northwestern: Panelists discuss effects of partisan gerrymandering on free, fair electionsJan 28, 2018
The current problem with gerrymandering — the manipulation of district boundaries to favor a political party in an election — is the worst it has been in modern history, said Ruth Greenwood of the Campaign Legal Center during a panel on campus Sunday. “Parties have found new ways to manipulate the lines to their advantage,” Greenwood said. “People in power don’t want to give up their power so it’s really tough to make change.”
- Jan 26, 2018
The president does back down when confronted. On one hand, McGahn should be commended for standing up to Trump and should set an example for others who may be pressured to carry out illegal or problematic actions. However, as former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub tells me, “Before anyone goes canonizing McGahn, let’s pause to recall the media reports about him pressuring Sessions not to recuse and seeking access to FISA warrant information.” It is not clear whether McGahn simply thought the move would be politically disastrous or if he concluded firing Mueller would itself constitute obstruction of justice, a crime. As an aside, “It’s also worth noting that this is not the first leak to paint McGahn in a positive light at Trump’s expense,” says Shaub. “If I were Trump, I’d find myself wondering about McGahn.”
- Jan 24, 2018
“This is potentially problematic,” said Larry Noble, a campaign finance lawyer and general counsel for Campaign Legal Center. “My guess is that they are assuming that the FEC will not go for it, and if it does, they will make some legal argument that the three Republican commissioners will accept.”