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The Latest from Campaign Legal Center

Since the Supreme Court opened the doors to unlimited corporate election spending in 2010 with its decision in Citizens United v. FEC, corporations can generally spend as much money as they want to influence elections, provided such spending is done independently from the candidates they support. 

But there are some exceptions to this right to...

The city of Atlanta’s Ethics Office recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. CLC’s Vice President, General Counsel, and Senior Director of Ethics, Kedric Payne, was invited to speak to the accomplishment. 

Kedric’s speech, given at a ceremony held September 12, highlighted the city’s swift response to a corruption scandal involving a former...

Issues

Nonpartisan civic engagement groups form the bedrock of our democracy.  

These groups — composed of civic-minded, democracy-loving, everyday Americans — do the hard work of fighting to ensure that every American can access the fundamental freedom to vote.  

Their efforts have a long and storied history. In fact, as long as America has had...

Gerry Hebert posing in front of a bridge with a car in the background
Gerry Hebert at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Today, the democracy community lost one of its greatest leaders, J. Gerald (Gerry) Hebert, a fierce defender of voting rights and a titan of election law. Our thoughts today are with Gerry’s wife, Victoria, his children and grandchildren, and the many friends and colleagues who adored him.  

Gerry served as the executive director of CLC from...

CLC’s award-winning podcast, “Democracy Decoded,” begins its third season today with stories about how our ongoing national struggle to advance and improve our system of self-government plays out at the state and local level. You can subscribe to the podcast here

One of the defining features of our democracy is the presence of strong state and...

One hundred and three years ago, after decades of activism, the Nineteenth Amendment granted some women in the United States the freedom to vote. This event marked an enormous step toward a more inclusive and representative democracy. 

However, it took decades for all women to have the freedom to vote. While women—and especially women of color...

Voters have a fundamental right to know who is spending money to influence their vote, and to rest assured that the officials they elect remain untainted by the reality or appearance of corruption. This is why federal campaign finance laws are crucial to protecting transparency and accountability in our elections and our government. 

These laws...

In our democracy every voice must be heard, and that means we must count every vote.    

Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) joined the League of Women Voters of North Dakota (LWVND) in fighting back against an attack on North Dakotans’ freedom to vote. 

Last month, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the...

Voters have a right to know who is spending to influence their vote and their government. Federal campaign finance laws protect this right by requiring federal candidates and committees to disclose their contributors. 

But the law hasn’t stopped some wealthy individuals and special interests from attempting to conceal their political contributions...

In a victory for voters and democracy, the Virginia Beach City Council voted last night to adopt a “10-1” election system and a court-approved district map that ensures all voters in Virginia Beach will have an equal voice in local elections. 

This victory marks the culmination of years of litigation against Virginia Beach’s at-large system of...

Issues

It’s a fundamental principle of our democracy: Every voice should be heard and every vote should count equally.  

But for decades, Latino voters in Washington state’s Yakima Valley region were denied an equal voice in Washington’s state legislature by maps that unfairly diluted their voices. 

In January 2022, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) sued on...

Issues

The public should be on alert for the next Supreme Court ethics controversy when Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas file their delayed financial disclosures by the final deadline of August 14, 2023.

These reports are unique because Justices Alito and Thomas must decide whether to fully disclose gifts they may never have intended to...

Issues

When the people in charge of drawing voting maps are the same people who stand to benefit from influencing those maps, voters lose. Wisconsinites deserve fair maps that give them an equal chance to make their voices heard and elect leaders who will best serve their community.  

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) partnered with Law Forward, the Election...

Issues

A healthy democracy needs institutions that are free of corruption and safeguarded against abuses of power. Fulfilling these goals requires that we enhance checks and balances between our branches of government, promote transparency and accountability for officials entrusted with the public good, and protect our elections from improper interference...

Every election cycle, wealthy special interests spend record-breaking amounts of money to influence elections. Transparency regarding the sources of that election spending is essential to our democracy because it enables voters to know who is spending money to influence their votes and allows them to fully evaluate the electoral messages that such...

As 2024 presidential candidates look to build support for their respective campaigns among voters, “soft money” — or funds raised outside the scope of federal campaign finance laws — is already having a major impact on the race for the White House. Because soft money doesn’t comply with federal campaign finance laws, it undermines the crucial...

The federal campaign finance laws that prohibit federal contractors from making political contributions stand as a bulwark against corrupt, “pay to play” style politics and assure voters that taxpayer-funded government contracts are not for sale.

This protection is vital to rooting out corruption in our democracy and the enforcement of these laws...

Lawmakers are failing to disclose thousands of dollars they have accepted for free travel gifted to them by special interests, and the source of the problem appears to be lax ethics enforcement in Congress.  

The Wall Street Journal reported examples of three House members who failed to disclose receiving domestic and international travel valued...

Issues

The 2024 election cycle may be one of the most contentious ever, which is why it is imperative that voters feel confident in the health and security of our democracy. Congress can help realize this goal by passing the reintroduced Freedom to Vote Act as soon as possible. 

The Freedom to Vote Act is a transformative proposal that would increase...

For the third time this summer, the actions of a Supreme Court justice have shone a light on just how poor ethics enforcement is for the nine judges on our nation’s highest court – and made it clear just how desperately an internal enforcement mechanism is needed. A new round of reporting shows that Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s staff pushed...

Issues

The work of nonpartisan civic engagement groups like the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL) is a core part of building a better democracy from the ground up. 

These groups register voters, hold community educational events and promote civic engagement—yet their efforts have come under increasing attack by self-interested politicians, with...