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Paul Smith

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Texas law currently denies all voters under the age of 65 the ability to vote by mail without an excuse. As a result, Texas’ absentee ballot eligibility rules violate the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be...

Issues

The passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) has helped address voting discrimination and empower communities of color in the last five decades, but as a new Campaign Legal Center report highlights, every state should pass its own VRA to continue to allow communities of color to make strides forward today.

Under the federal VRA, communities...

Issues

Hundreds of thousands of Florida voters, represented by Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and partners, are taking the fight for voting rights restoration to the U.S. Supreme Court.

With the deadline to register to vote in Florida’s August 2020 primary election coming up, CLC filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court...

Issues

Attorney General Bill Barr has been busy following the President’s lead in spreading unfounded claims of potential widespread fraud in absentee voting. As an election lawyer for previous Republican presidential candidates, I know these claims are baseless and harmful to our democracy. The Attorney General’s partisan role-playing and his false...

Issues

Join us virtually on July 22, 2020 from 2-3 PM Eastern for a conversation between CLC Vice President Paul Smith and Neal Simon, author of Contract to Unite America: Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic. Capitalizing on personal insight derived from Simon's 2018 independent U.S. Senate campaign along with extensive research, Contract to Unite America...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and partners filed a lawsuit today urging a federal court to change New York State’s flawed absentee ballot verification requirements in time for the 2020 General Election.

New York has consistently had one of the highest absentee ballot rejection rates in the country. In the 2018 General Election, state election...

Issues

A recent piece by the Associated Press (AP) revealed that even though President Trump has criticized voting by mail, more than half a dozen of his closest advisers have repeatedly mailed in their own ballots – including Vice President Mike Pence who still lists the governor’s residence in Indiana as his official residence three years after moving...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) sent a letter urging Senators to include an additional $3.6 billion in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act for crucial funding, administered with specific requirements, for the states to ensure our election infrastructure is strong for the 2020 general elections.

In the face of...

Issues

A federal judge has dismissed two lawsuits against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on July 6, 2020, decisively ending the legal attack on the voter-approved constitutional amendment that established the Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Benson can now move forward with preparations for implementing the commission...

Issues

On July 1, 2020, a federal appeals court granted the state of Florida’s request to stop the expansion of voting rights to hundreds of thousands of voters who were deemed eligible to participate in the 2020 election by a lower court ruling. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will hear the case while the implementation of the...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today over its delay in enforcing the Federal Election Campaign Act’s (FECA) requirement that a group whose “major purpose” is supporting the re-election campaign of Senator Joni Ernst register with the FEC.  

The complaint seeks FEC action on an...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Issue One today sent a letter to recently confirmed Federal Election Chair (FEC) Chair Trey Trainor urging him to take action on the flood of secret or “dark” money flooding U.S. elections, drowning out the voices of everyday Americans.

The letter is a response to a recent interview with Trainor where he dismissed...

Today, Republican Federal Election Commission (FEC) commissioner Caroline Hunter submitted a letter of resignation. She’s expected to leave the agency as of July 3, 2020 with only three sitting commissioners. The law requires a quorum of at least four commissioners before the agency can conduct any official enforcement or regulatory action. The FEC...

Although violations of ethics laws and norms by members of the Trump administration capture headlines, this behavior is trickling down without much notice to career public servants in the White House. 

Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the Executive Office of the President...

Issues

Congress should pass H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, to make the District of Columbia the 51st state. Citizens of the District deserve the same rights and voice in government as the current 50 states.

With a population of 705,749 citizens, the District has a larger population than Vermont or Wyoming and a comparable population to S...

Issues

June 25, 2020 marks the seventh anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder, a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965.

This decision halted decades of progress in the advancement of communities of color as it relates to access to the ballot box. Ever since, states and localities...

Issues

Two shell corporations appear to have illegally laundered $1.25 million to Democratic super PACs, according to a new Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center (CLC).

The Pacific Environmental Coalition (PEC) was formed as a nonprofit last fall, and within months had given over $1 million to the Democratic...

 Also by Kayley Ingalls, a CLC Legal Intern.

Four months away from the next presidential election and the nation’s campaign finance watchdog, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), grinds to a halt while disclosure of the sources of campaign spending is needed now more than ever. Meanwhile, states have picked up the slack and Campaign Legal...

By Ben Phillips, a Summer 2020 CLC intern

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, each new Election Day presents a new stress test that should help avoid an election disaster in November—if state and federal governments learn from these primaries and plan accordingly.

When it comes to safe and accessible elections, Tuesday’s primary in...

Issues

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is asking the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to close a loophole that allows billionaires to funnel millions of dollars to political parties.

Earlier this year, former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg transferred  $18 million to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which greatly exceeds the $35,500...

“Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Shelby County v. Holder (2013).

In the Reconstruction Era immediately following the U.S. Civil War, Black voters in the South were...

Issues