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Paul Smith

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In the last decade, the elimination of corporate campaign contributions, the availability of vast amounts of personal information, and strategizing by party officials who want to maintain power have made it more difficult for millions of people’s votes to count in states across the country.

But people are fighting back. That is the message of...

On March 24, an hour before President Donald Trump alarmed public health experts by saying he wanted to “have the country opened up” by Easter in order to restart the economy, he and Vice President Mike Pence hopped on the phone with a few wealthy Wall Street executives. One of the executives on that call, according to reporting, was Blackstone CEO...

In a victory for voting rights, Tennessee lawmakers have repealed burdensome restrictions enacted after the 2018 election that imposed harsh penalties on community voter registration efforts. Campaign Legal Center (CLC), along with its partners, represented several organizations that conduct voter registration efforts in Tennessee in a lawsuit...

Issues

The goal of the 2020 Census is to count all U.S. residents where they live on April 1, known as “Census Day.” This task was always going to be monumental, but the coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that a successful census will take an unprecedented effort, both from the federal government and from communities around the country.

Campaign...

Issues

As public health precautions around the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause disruptions and delays to the ongoing primary elections, states must take steps now to ensure that the general election in November runs smoothly. Voters should not have to choose between public health and a functioning democracy.

On March 30, 2020 Campaign Legal...

Issues

In a victory for Florida voters, an appeals court decision that temporarily blocked Florida’s fines and fees law will stand. An appeals court in Atlanta denied the state’s motion for a rehearing of the case before a full panel of judges. No judges requested that the case be re-heard.

The appeals court decision applies to the individual clients in...

Issues

Now more than ever, voters are seeking reforms to ensure a more responsive and accountable government. Thus, it is good news that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear arguments in Elster v. City of Seattle, a challenge to Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program, which was approved by over 60% of city voters in 2015. The program – which went into...

Michael Bloomberg poured nearly $1 billion into his run for the Democratic presidential nomination and lost. But there were a few winners from his ill-fated campaign: television stations in early primary states, a handful of political consultants, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). 

Despite laws capping contributions to the DNC at $35...

More examples continue to emerge of members of Congress prioritizing their personal interests over the public interest. They range from the sentencing of former Rep. Duncan Hunter for spending over $150,000 of campaign funds on personal expenses to Sen. Richard Burr offloading millions of dollars of stock shortly after a closed-door Senate briefing...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) sent a letter to members of Congress on Mar. 24, 2020, asking them to include $2 billion in the latest economic stimulus legislation to ensure the integrity of our country’s election infrastructure in the 2020 primaries and general election.

During the coronavirus pandemic, additional funding is necessary to help states...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is representing the grassroots group Voters Not Politicians to try to turn back a legal challenge to the democratically enacted independent redistricting commission (IRC) in Michigan. CLC will present oral arguments in the consolidated cases, Daunt v. Benson and Michigan Republican Party v. Benson on Mar. 17, 2020.

CLC...

Issues

In times of uncertainty, American citizens should be able to count on being able to vote for their candidates of choice. 

During other historically extraordinary events, like the Civil War or World War I, elections were not canceled or postponed. American citizens were able to practice one of their most basic rights – as we should be able to now...

Issues

In times of crisis and panic, it is vital that Americans can trust leaders to determine what course of action is best for the public’s health and safety. Unfortunately, when the country’s most senior official is riddled with conflicts of interest, it becomes hard to sustain that trust.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the U.S...

Issues

The Electoral College casts the final and deciding ballots for the President of the United States. For more than two centuries, members of the Electoral College have voted for the presidential candidate that wins the most votes in their state.

Now, two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, Chiafalo v. Washington and Colorado Department of State v....

In his home state of Texas, James “Trey” Trainor worked to undermine and defund the Ethics Commission tasked with regulating campaign finance laws.

Yet, on March 10, 2020 he will go before the Senate as a nominee for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) – the only government agency solely responsible for enforcing the campaign finance laws for...

On March 6, 2020, the Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation to amend the state’s constitution and reform how new congressional and legislative election maps are drawn, limiting the ability of lawmakers to redraw maps for their own political advantage. It will now go before voters on the November General Election ballot.

Virginia has long...

Issues

Senate Republicans announced they will hold a confirmation hearing next week for Federal Election Commission (FEC) nominee Trey Trainor.

Trey Trainor’s nomination as a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is yet another example of how the current nomination process continues to produce commissioners who are opposed to the mission...

On behalf of a coalition of 11 nonpartisan groups who advocate for a better democracy, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) sent a letter to the leadership in the Virginia House of Delegates, urging state lawmakers to put principle over party and move past its history of gerrymandering. By passing the fair maps constitutional amendment now being considered...

Issues

A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a decision by a federal district court in Jones v. DeSantis, which found that it was unconstitutional for Florida to deny people with past felony convictions the right to vote based on their inability to pay legal financial obligations (LFOs) – the fines, fees, and...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is calling for an investigation into whether U.S. Representative Devin Nunes is receiving legal services in violation of House ethics rules. Nunes has sued media organizations in multiple lawsuits for nearly $1 billion, but he has not disclosed any of the required public reports necessary to establish that he has...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) believes that democracy works best when all citizens can vote without barriers. That’s why CLC works to remedy state policies that make voting more difficult.

Iowa has been in the news lately, and for all the wrong reasons. Most news reports have focused on the mishandling of its important responsibility to conduct a...

Issues