CLC Update June 7, 2010

CLC Staff
Jun 7, 2010
  1. Legal Center Urges Support of DISCLOSE Act
  2. Ninth Circuit Upholds Arizona’s Clean Election Act
  3. Legal Center Breakfast Briefings Launched with Discussion of DISCLOSE Act
  4. Policy Director Addresses ABA FCC Bar


Legal Center Urges Support Of DISCLOSE Act

On May 27, 2010, the Campaign Legal Center joined with Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters and Public Citizen in urging Members to vote for the DISCLOSE ACT (H.R. 5175). The letter encouraging bipartisan support was distributed the day before an expected vote on the legislation in the House. The vote was ultimately postponed until after the Memorial Day recess. The legislation was drafted and introduced in response to the Supreme Court's controversial decision on Citizens United v FEC, which opens the door for corporations and unions to spend their treasury funds in federal elections. The bill would require timely and effective disclosure of these corporations' campaign-related expenditures, among other provisions.

Legal Center President Trevor Potter testified before the House Administration Committee on the proposed legislation earlier in the month.


Ninth Circuit Upholds Arizona's Clean Election Act

On May 21, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held that the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act, in particular its "matching funds trigger" provisions, was consistent with the First Amendment, reversing the district court's ruling on this issue.

On June 1, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order in this case (McComish v. Bennett) declining to vacate the Ninth Circuit's stay of the district court's order enjoining enforcement of Arizona's matching funds trigger provisions, thus allowing the provisions to be implemented. The Court, however, denied the plaintiffs' application without prejudice to a renewed application, and plaintiffs refiled their application to vacate the stay on June 1.

Plaintiffs' application remains pending before the Supreme Court.

The Campaign Legal Center filed an amicus brief in the district court supporting the defendants, and continues to monitor the progress of case.


Legal Center Breakfast Briefings Launched With Discussion of DISCLOSE Act

On May 26, 2010, the Legal Center hosted the inaugural "Breakfast at the Legal Center", a series of periodic briefings on current topics for decision makers, stakeholders, and journalists. The first briefing focused on the DISCLOSE Act and potential legal challenges to the bill if it is passed into law. Legal Center President Trevor Potter, Policy Director, Meredith McGehee, and CLC Board Member Scott Thomas led discussion of the DISCLOSE ACT and fielded questions from congressional staff and reporters in attendance.


Policy Director Addresses ABA FCC Bar

On May 27, 2010, Policy Director, Meredith McGehee, participated in a panel discussion of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision before the American Bar Association's Federal Communications Commission Bar. The panel, "Citizens United and Media Companies", focused on the practical and political implications of the Supreme Court's decisions for media companies - including legislation recently introduced to address the decision.

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