(photo courtesy of Colbert Report)
Campaign Legal Center President (and attorney at the law firm Caplin & Drysdale) Trevor Potter played an important role in the last election cycle: that of "personal lawyer" to comedian Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Mr. Colbert took on the absurdities of some of current campaign finance law and turned them into a running parody on his show this election cycle, with the help of Trevor. To watch video highlights of Trevor Potter's appearances on The Colbert Report, click here.
Day One of the Voting Rights Institute: One the Eve of Shelby, Instructing Attorneys and Law Students About the Realities of Section 2 LitigationJun 25, 2013
This morning, in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, effectively gutting Section 5 of the Act requiring “covered” states under Section 4’s formula to “pre-clear” changes in voting law with the federal government before they can take effect. Without a coverage formula, there are no covered states to pre-clear; without pre-clearance, minorities and civil rights litigators are left without an essential weapon in the arsenal for combating discriminatory voting practices.
- Jun 25, 2013
Today’s decision is a huge setback for civil rights in our nation. It is citizens, specifically the nation’s minorities, who will suffer as a result the votes of 5 Supreme Court Justices. The Roberts Court proved again that it will not be deterred by Supreme Court precedent, the realities on the ground in our nation; nor will it defer to Congress even when the legislative branch is granted clear authority by the Constitution to remedy our nation's long history of discrimination against racial and language minorities. The Court today declared racism dead in this country despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
Reform Groups Urge Senate to Enact DISCLOSE Act to Close Gaping Disclosure Loopholes Used to Hide Donors
Reform groups issued a statement today expressing strong support for the DISCLOSE Act of 2014 introduced today by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) with 49 cosponsors. The DISCLOSE Act would ensure that that voters know the identity of donors who have been secretly financing campaign expenditures in federal elections.
Legal Center Files in Support of Los Angeles Independent Expenditure Disclosure Laws in Ninth Circuit
Today the Campaign Legal Center filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the independent expenditure disclosure laws of the City of Los Angeles. The Legal Center’s brief in Dickranian v. City of Los Angeles points out that the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court have repeatedly upheld disclosure requirements and argues that the Ninth Circuit should do so again in this case.
Another Voting Rights Act Bailout as Supreme Court Slated to Rule This Week on Act’s Constitutionality
Today, a proposed consent judgment and decree was presented to a three-judge court in Washington, DC, granting a Voting Rights Act bailout to Hanover County, Virginia while the Supreme Court could rule as early as tomorrow on the Act’s preclearance provisions. If today’s bailout is approved, Hanover County will add to the growing list of state or local governments to bailout from the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Those provisions known as Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are being challenged in Shelby County v. Holder.
Tonight, the Campaign Legal Center and American University’s Washington College of Law will jointly launch a new Voting Rights Law Institute to help train the next generation voting rights litigators. The four-night Institute will be held tonight through Thursday night (June 27), to train and update law students and practitioners on enforcement of voting rights law, particularly cases brought to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. This Voting Rights Institute is believed to be the first of its kind.
- Jun 21, 2013
Today’s nominations are an encouraging sign from an Administration that has allowed a long-dysfunctional FEC to sink to a new and disgraceful low. Over the last four years the Administration had offered only a single nominee as the terms of every sitting commissioner expired and the Commission, split along party lines, deadlocked on most meaningful matters before it. As a result, abuses of our campaign finance laws have been rampant.
The Voting Rights Act: Does the City of Boerne Case or the "Congruence and Proportionality" Test Have Anything To Do With the Voting Rights Act?Jun 12, 2013Much of the debate in the pending Shelby County case centers on whether the remedy in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is “congruent and proportional” to the evidence of violations, as the Supreme Court first began requiring in 1997 in City of Boerne v. Flores. However, simply reading City of Boerne and the cases following it suggests that this is not the right test for evaluating the constitutionality of Section 5, and that applying it would be wholly without precedent.
U.S. Senate: Reform Groups Urge Senators to Support Bill Requiring Electronic Filing of Their Campaign Finance Disclosure ReportsJun 11, 2013
In a letter sent today to the Senate, reform groups urged Senators to support S.375, the “Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act,” which would require electronic filing of campaign finance disclosure reports by Senate candidates under federal campaign finance laws.