CLC Update October 1, 2015

CLC Staff
Oct 1, 2015
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  1. CLC’s Supreme Court Brief from Census Bureau Directors Stresses Data Problems Inherent to Proposed Changes in “One-Person, One-Vote” Case
  2. Challenge to SEC Pay-To-Play Rule Rejected by DC Circuit
  3. Watchdogs Urge Supreme Court to Overturn Lower Court & Send Maryland Gerrymander Case to 3-Judge Panel
  4. Latest Voting Rights Institute to Train New Generation of Voting Rights Lawyers at Georgetown Law
  5. Reform Groups Urge President Obama to Reject Campaign Finance Riders in Appropriation Bills
  6. Reform Groups Call on IRS to End Misuse of Nonprofits to Launder Secret Contributions into Federal Elections
  7. Coalition Urges Lawmakers to Release Results of Ethics Investigation
  8. Senior Counsel Speaks on Panel at William & Mary Law School

CLC’s Supreme Court Brief from Census Bureau Directors Stresses Data Problems

On September 25, 2015, four former U.S. Census Bureau directors filed an amici brief in Evenwel v. Abbott, emphasizing that a proposal to replace Census total population data for Texas redistricting purposes with one of two voter-based measures would be woefully imprecise in assuring compliance with the constitutionally mandated one-person, one-vote principle.  The Campaign Legal Center is part of the legal team representing the former Census Bureau directors.

To read more, click here.

To read the brief, click here

 Challenge to SEC Pay-To-Play Rule Rejected by DC Circuit

On August 25, 2015 the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals turned back a challenge brought by the state Republican parties of New York and Tennessee to an important rule adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prevent pay-to-play practices in state investing in New York Republican State Committee v. SEC.  The Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, filed an amici brief in the case in January of this year, urging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the challenge to the SEC rule. 

To read more, click here.

To read the amici brief filed by the Legal Center with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, click here.

To read the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal’s opinion dismissing the petition, click here.

Watchdogs Urge Supreme Court to Overturn Lower Court & Send Maryland Gerrymander Case to 3-Judge Panel

On August 13, 2015 the Campaign Legal Center joined with Common Cause in filing an amici brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a U.S. District Court decision which dismissed a challenge by voters to the blatant political gerrymander carried out by then-Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland state legislature in 2011.  The petitioners argue that their First Amendment rights were violated and they were discriminated against because of their political party affiliations when the state drastically redrew the sixth congressional district to unseat the incumbent Republican Member of Congress and ensure the election of a Democrat.   

To read more, click here.

To read the brief, click here.

Latest Voting Rights Institute to Train New Generation of Voting Rights Lawyers at Georgetown Law

On September 25, 2015, the Voting Rights Institute, a joint project of the Campaign Legal Center, and American Constitution Society (ACS), and Georgetown University Law Center conducted a voting rights training session at its new permanent home at Georgetown Law in Washington, DC.  The ongoing Institute training sessions are helping to help meet the critical need for a new generation of voting rights lawyers, experts, and community activists.  A particular focus of the training was cases currently pending in the courts, including voting cases currently pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.  The training program featured a panel of instructors with decades of experience in the field of voting rights.

To read more, click here.

Reform Groups Urge President Obama to Reject Campaign Finance Riders in Appropriation Bills

The Campaign Legal Center joined with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Demos, Issue One, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG to urge President Obama to use all available means, including a veto if necessary, to block the four pending campaign finance riders and to block any other effort to undermine the campaign finance laws from being enacted.  The four damaging campaign finance riders that have already been added to House and Senate appropriations bills would: Prevent the White House from issuing an Executive Order requiring disclosure of campaign finance activities by government contractors; Prevent the IRS from issuing new regulations to stop nonprofit groups from misusing the tax laws to spend secret contributions in federal elections; Prevent the SEC from issuing regulations to require public corporations to disclose their campaign-finance activities to their shareholders; and Repeal longstanding limits on the amounts that parties can spend in coordination with their candidates.

To read more, click here.

To read the full letter, click here.

Reform Groups Call on IRS to End Misuse of Nonprofits to Launder Secret Contributions into Federal Elections

In a letter sent September 9, 2015 to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, reform groups called on the IRS to end the misuse use of nonprofit groups to launder secret contributions into federal elections. The reform groups included the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Demand Progress, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, and Sunlight Foundation. According to the letter, IRS regulations governing the eligibility of groups for tax status as section 501(c)(4) “social welfare” fail to comply with the tax laws.

To read more, click here.

To read the letter, click here

Coalition Urges Lawmakers to Release Results of Ethics Investigation

The Campaign Legal Center, joined by a diverse coalition of civic organizations and academics, sent a letter on August 26, 2015 to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and the House leadership calling on the Committee to respect established rules of procedure in handling a complaint regarding member and staff travel to Azerbaijan.  In addition to CLC, the letter was signed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Demand Progress, Democracy 21, Thomas Mann, the National Legal & Policy Center, Norm Ornstein, Public Citizen and James Thurber. In the letter, the coalition asserted: “The Ethics Committee should immediately release to the public the OCE findings to return to compliance with House rules.”

To read more, click here.

To read the full letter, click here.

Senior Counsel Speaks on Panel at William & Mary Law School

On September 12, 2015, Legal Center Senior Counsel Tara Malloy spoke on a panel during a seminar for the William & Mary Law School.  She debated topics pertaining to IRS regulation of political activity, including its recent proposed rules and the intersection of federal tax and campaign finance law.

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