(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.
- Aug 30, 2012
Today’s decision by a unanimous three-judge court in Washington DC that the Texas voter ID law was violative of the Voting Rights Act is a huge victory for Texans who had been stripped of their right to vote by their elected representatives. This is the second time in a week that the State of Texas has been found by a federal court to have violated the Voting Rights Act and the rights of its citizens. Earlier this week, a federal court found Texas’ three statewide redistricting plans to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act. These two decisions speak volumes about the fact that the Voting Rights Act is still very much needed to protect the rights of minority voters, even in the 21st Century.
- Aug 29, 2012
49 years ago on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He addressed an estimated 300,000 participants of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, saying:
“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
49 years ago Americans were struggling to find work, were fighting against segregation and discrimination, and they were fighting for their right to vote. While we have come a long way since before the days President Lyndon Johnson signed the VotingRights Act into law, we still face many of the same challenges today.
- Aug 29, 2012
The Campaign Legal Center today submitted an amicus brief in opposition to the latest attempt by outside groups to gut existing disclosure laws in a case brought by the Hispanic Leadership Fund (HLF) against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The organization is seeking to air television advertisements criticizing President Obama without complying with “electioneering communication” disclosure requirements, which include donor disclosure.
- Aug 23, 2012
On August 22, 2012, the Campaign Legal Center submitted an amended complaint to a federal court in Florida to address recent developments in the Secretary of State’s (“SOS”) ongoing efforts to remove thousands of registered voters from the state’s voter rolls before the general election in November, 2012. The Legal Center’s attorneys are part of the legal team representing a wide array of groups and individuals who have brought this legal challenge. The case is Arcia v. Detzner, No. 12-22282 (S.D. Fl.)
- Aug 23, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, submitted a brief opposing an effort in Wagner v. FEC to overturn the ban on political contributions by federal contractors to federal candidates, parties and other political committees. The 70-year-old restriction on campaign contributions from persons and entities contracting with the federal government was enacted in 1940 to address corruption in federal contracting in the wake of scandals—most notably the “Democratic campaign book” scandal.
IRS: CLC & Democracy 21 Send Further Evidence to IRS that Groups Seeking to Influence Elections are Wrongly Claiming 501(c)(4) StatusAug 21, 2012
The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 sent a letter today to the Honorable Douglas H. Shulman, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and to Lois Lerner, Director of the Exempt Organizations Division.
- Aug 10, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, filed an amici briefwith the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming in the latest challenge to federal disclosure laws. Free Speech v. FEC concerns a challenge to the “subpart (b)” definition of “expressly advocating” (11 C.F.R. § 100.22(b)), as well as the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) methodology for determining when a group has campaign activity as its “major purpose,” an important step in the larger determination of political committee status.
Fourth Circuit Denies Rehearing in Challenge to Century-Old Law Banning Corporate Contributions to Candidates & PartiesAug 10, 2012
Today, in U.S. v Danielczyk, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied a motion to rehear the case. In late June, the Fourth Circuit had reversed a district court decision that had ignored U.S. Supreme Court precedent in order to strike down the century-old federal ban on corporate contributions to candidates and political parties. The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed an amici brief in the Fourth Circuit urging the result reached by the Fourth Circuit.
- Aug 9, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center joined Democracy 21 in urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to stand fast in the face of partisan political pressure from a number of Republican Senators who are warning the agency not to enforce tax laws against 501(c)(4) organizations that are secretly pouring tens of millions of dollars into candidate attack ads nationwide.
In a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman and Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner, the Legal Center and Democracy 21emphasized that the agency should “investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against” the groups currently abusing the tax code for partisan politicking and to set down clear guidelines for eligibility for the privileged tax status as a “social welfare” organization.