(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.
- Feb 9, 2018
The tales of unethical behavior and secret “hush money” deals have rightly spurred the U.S. House of Representatives to overhaul sexual harassment and discrimination oversight in the legislative branch. As an advocate who worked to enact the original Congressional Accountability Act, I knew the final legislation was less than perfect in 1995. But it established an enormously important precedent: Congress should live by the laws it applies to others. It’s time to end the Capitol Hill culture that often only seeks to protect itself and has been hiding unethical behavior behind closed doors to the detriment of the public trust placed in our nation’s elected leaders.
LA Times: Trump's Ethics Office has blessed an unethical legal defense fund for the president's associatesFeb 9, 2018
Under cover of last week's feverish reaction to the FBI memorandum released by Rep. Devin Nunes, the Office of Government Ethics quietly dumped documents revealing a new low point in the agency's 40-year history. In a letter signed Jan. 29th, but withheld from public view until the memo frenzy was peaking, the agency's Trump-appointed acting director, David Apol, blessed a shockingly permissive arrangement for funneling cash to White House appointees and others linked to Trump.
- Feb 8, 2018
“Various solutions have been proposed but none has been adopted, and the clock is ticking,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center, on a recent conference call to release a CLC report on foreign election interference. “Unfortunately, this matter of foreign interference has been swept into the vortex of partisan discord. And Congress’s failure to respond to the events in 2016 leaves us vulnerable this year and in 2020.”
The Yale Law Journal: A Post-Shelby Strategy: Exposing Discriminatory Intent in Voting Rights LitigationFeb 8, 2018
For decades, intentional discrimination claims were relatively rare in voting rights cases. Both scholarly and judicial attention, therefore, was focused on developing the results test jurisprudence under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. But the influx of new barriers to voting and the loss of preclearance since Shelby County has changed the legal landscape and ushered in a new strategic embrace of intentional discrimination claims. While intentional discrimination claims impose a higher evidentiary burden, recent success with these claims demonstrates their legal and strategic benefits. By holding jurisdictions accountable for not only the results of their actions but also their motives, voting rights plaintiffs can secure more complete remedies, win back preclearance, build a public record of continuing racial discrimination, and expose the voter fraud myth as pretext in neutral fora. In so doing, our democracy will be strengthened and the most precious right we have as Americans, the right to vote, will be safeguarded for future generations.
- Feb 8, 2018
Walter Shaub Jr. has blasted the Trump White House for creating an “ethics crisis,” but the previous head of the Office of Government Ethics now is offering praise for the administration’s choice for his successor.
- Feb 7, 2018
Delaware already responded to the Campaign Legal Center’s letter and said it would be changing its forms. The project seeks to help the huge numbers of people with felony convictions by improving voter registration forms in a way that clearly informs them of their rights and makes sure people understand “they can and should be part of our electorate,” Lang said. There’s a misconception in the public at large that all felons aren’t eligible to vote, which is not true, and the state registration forms are a mess when it comes to helping people determine if they can vote, Lang said.
- Feb 7, 2018
“What the Seattle elections board is doing is very much at the vanguard of a broader discussion over how digital political ads should be regulated,” said Brenden Fischer of the non-profit Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C. Fischer said the federal government is wrestling over how to require the same political ad disclosure rules that other media outlets must follow like TV broadcasters to online platforms like Facebook.
WRAL: Congressional maps expected to stand for 2018 NC elections, despite federal court's gerrymander findingFeb 7, 2018
"The Supreme Court has the opportunity to adopt the standard for measuring partisan gerrymandering presented to the justices in the Wisconsin case, and by striking down those maps this term have a clear path forward to doing the same in North Carolina," Ruth Greenwood, senior legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center said in an emailed statement. "In both cases, bipartisan panels of judges have found that the gerrymanders are so extreme that they violate the constitution."
- Feb 7, 2018
“We saw the rise of ‘scam PACs’ during the Obama years, where grifters would tap into anti-Obama sentiment to raise mostly small-dollar donations from grassroots conservatives, and then pay themselves consulting fees rather than use the money to support candidates or causes,” Brendan Fischer, the director of federal and FEC reform programs at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, said in an email. “The Democratic Coalition seems to be using a similar playbook, only here they are tapping into anti-Trump sentiment.”
- Feb 7, 2018
The D.C. Council yesterday unanimously passed the Fair Elections Act, and now the bill heads to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk to be signed into law. D.C.’s measure follows a long line of states and localities that have passed public financing laws, or citizen-funded elections, making it clear Americans want every voice heard in the political process, not just those of the wealthy few.