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Paul Smith

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In 1965, Congress passed a bill that would change the course of this country’s history and the shape of our democracy forever. That bill was the Voting Rights Act, or the VRA. For almost 50 years, the VRA protected the political voices of voters of color and ensured all voters could participate in the democratic system. Those protections, though,...

Issues

On Monday, the Baltimore City Council gave final approval to an ordinance that would create a new public financing program for candidates seeking local office. The legislation is the result of a city charter amendment, approved by over 75% of Baltimore voters last November, directing lawmakers to establish a system of public financing for city...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) President Trevor Potter has joined a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers called Checks & Balances, many of whom have served in government agencies like the Department of Justice, in expressing profound concern with Attorney General William Barr’s address to the Federalist Society communicating an overly...

Issues

The first stage of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s abuses of office, now complete, has revealed how career diplomats were troubled by the ability of Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, and Rudy Giuliani to help engineer a corrupt shadow foreign policy in Ukraine.   

“How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign corrupt interests...

Ethical concerns have plagued the Interior Department since former lobbyist David Bernhardt took a top spot at the agency, and they do not seem to be going away anytime soon. 

trove of recently-published emails between Bernhardt, while he was still Deputy Secretary, and the agency’s ethics staff offer an inside look into the flaws in Interior’s...

Issues

In November 2019, the Congressional Subcommittee on Elections issued a report on Voting Rights and Election Administration in the United States of America. The report detailed the history and current state of voting rights in our country, and presented some of the most important current battles to ensure all Americans can exercise their...

Issues

This month, President Trump was ordered by a New York court to personally pay $2 million in damages for improperly using the Trump Foundation to support his 2016 presidential run. Those same activities also implicate campaign finance law. 

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a supplemental complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Nov....

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) released findings from two bipartisan polls where voters expressed overwhelming support for increased transparency in election related contributions and for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to take a more active role in enforcing campaign finance laws.

Voters have a right to know which wealthy special interests are...

Rudy Giuliani has been tasked with conducting U.S. foreign policy while retaining unknown private clients, and should be subject to the conflict of interest and other ethics laws that apply to federal employees.

A new letter sent by Campaign Legal Center to the State Department’s Inspector General requests an investigation into Giuliani and his...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center and the League of Women Voters sent a letter on Nov. 8, 2019 to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger expressing grave concerns regarding the planned purge of over 300,000 Georgia voters from the voter registration list. The letter also outlines potential violations of federal and state law.

The letter urges Secretary...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and partners filed a lawsuit in 2018 on behalf of all late-jailed voters in Ohio seeking access to the ballot and the ability to exercise their right to vote. This resulted in CLC’s clients being allowed to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, but CLC still worked to ensure that the state’s practice would no longer be...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) submitted a letter to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill expressing disappointment in the erroneous and misleading description of Alabama’s felony disenfranchisement laws in an October 3, 2019 press release from Merrill’s office.

Secretary Merrill’s statement, coupled with his...

Issues

New York City voters will have the opportunity to approve ranked choice voting (“RCV”) on their November 2019 ballot via Ballot Question 1. If they chose to do so, voters would have the choice to rank up to five candidates in primary and special elections for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president, and city council beginning in...

Issues

On her way out of office, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen appears to have used campaign funds for a family trip to Disney and for thousands of dollars of expenditures at luxury hotels in New York and Miami.

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) has asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to investigate this apparent violation of the ban on the...

Following a bipartisan Senate report calling for updates to digital political advertising transparency laws to protect against foreign election meddling, three former FEC commissioners have taken to the pages of the Wall Street Journal with misleading attacks on these common-sense disclosure proposals.

On October 8, the bipartisan Senate...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and End Citizens United filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), alleging that during the 2018 election, President Trump’s “approved” super PAC, America First Action (AFA), made up to $6.6 million in illegally coordinated expenditures supporting Rep. Pete Sessions in Texas, and U.S. Senate candidates...

To avoid further confusion among voters, it is critical that Florida act with urgency to provide a uniform and straightforward process that gives all affected Floridians a chance to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

That is why on Oct. 25, 2019, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a brief in federal court requesting that the court extend...

Issues

In a recent op-ed published in The Washington Post, Campaign Legal Center’s Trevor Potter and Delaney Marsco explain why the lack of transparency surrounding Rudy Giuliani’s income is a problem, and why the financial disclosure ordinarily required for individuals representing the U.S. government is so important.

“Giuliani has confirmed that he was...

Issues

In a Politico op-ed, Republican FEC Commissioner Caroline Hunter charges that Democratic FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub* “is damaging the agency and misleading the public” in a number of ways, including by “prematurely judg[ing] matters that could come before the FEC” and opining on issues “outside of the FEC’s area of expertise.” 

For three...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and a coalition of 35 other organizations sent a letter to Congress urging members to support the SHIELD Act, which would protect U.S. elections against the ongoing threat of foreign intervention.

With a floor vote expected on October 23, 2019, the coalition emphasized that the critical legislation will help safeguard...

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HR 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (VRAA) on October 23, 2019. Campaign Legal Center (CLC) strongly endorses the VRAA and encourages the House to pass HR 4 without delay.

In the 2013 decision in Shelby County v Holder, the Supreme Court held a key provision of the Voting Rights Act...

Issues