“Campaign Finance Laws Poised for Rollback Under Trump”

…h as Citizens United v. FEC, which helped usher in big-money super PACs that can accept unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and individuals. Bopp said Friday he was filing an appeal to the high court in a case, Louisiana Republican Party v. FEC, that challenges soft money bans in state and local parties. “With the prospect of a Trump appointment of a conservative to the court, that case has very bright prospects,” Bopp said. As I…

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“Wyoming is requiring citizenship proof from naturalized voters”

…y it has deterred people from casting ballots. State Election Director Kai Schon said some noncitizens can apply for driver’s licenses and that information did not make it into the voter registration system until recently, making it necessary to ask some people to show they are qualified to vote.  I smell a lawsuit.  We had a similar case in Louisiana. …

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“Trump’s Claims of ‘Rigged’ Election Could Hurt His Own Campaign, Research Shows”

…: But his rhetoric could also have the impact of hurting his own campaign, according to some of the latest research into the topic. In one experiment conducted by Adam Seth Levine of Cornell University and Robyn L. Stiles of Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, different groups of voters were given different messages in an online ad touting voter registration — including “Registering is quick, easy, & free,”…

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“Hunter pushes Coast Guard to lease or buy ship owned by top campaign donor”

…an oil rig it was towing. The rig ran aground off Kodiak Island in Alaska. The Coast Guard says the Aiviq does not meet its needs, in particular because the vessel lacks military capabilities. Hunter has argued that the ship is a necessary and viable fleet option as melting polar ice opens the region to commercial traffic, putting more ships at risk. Contributors connected to the Aiviq’s owner, Louisiana-based shipbuilder Edison Chouest…

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“Deficiencies of Proportional Division of Electoral Votes”

…0 53.46% 45.00% 55.00% 1.68% Michigan 16 54.80% 53.13% 59.38% 1.68% Maryland 10 63.32% 55.00% 65.00% 1.76% New Jersey 14 58.95% 53.57% 60.71% 1.97% Virginia 13 51.97% 50.00% 57.69% 2.49% Oklahoma 7 33.23% 21.43% 35.71% 2.50% Louisiana 8 41.25% 31.25% 43.75% 2.53% Mississippi 6 44.20% 41.67% 58.33% 2.69% Massachusetts 11 61.79% 59.09% 68.18% 2.75% Colorado 9 52.75% 50.00% 61.11% 2.78% Kansas 6 38.89% 25.00% 41.67% See the full proportional 2012…

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“ProPublica and Coalition of News Organizations Launch “Electionland” to Cover Election Problems and Help America Vote”

…d verification specialists, will coordinate and train a selected network of journalism school newsrooms – at University of Alabama, Arizona State University, Columbia University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, University of Memphis, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ohio University, University of Oregon and Texas State University – to monitor and flag reports that…

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Trump’s Lawyer Don McGahn, Republican Lawyers’ Group, Plotting “Election Observer” Strategy

…hundreds of observers to states where tensions over elections seemed high. Now, observers may be sent only to five states where court rulings will allow election monitors. None of those states — Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana and New York — is seen as competitive in November. “That helps a lot,” Evans said of the reduced Justice Department role. “It takes away the suggestion that the Democrat machine is being supplemented by government…

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More Trump on Vote “Rigging”

…ow about like 10 times. Why not? If you don’t have voter ID, you can just keep voting and voting and voting. RUCKER: Is there anything else that you think could be going on? TRUMP: Look, you never know. It started with me in Louisiana when I won Louisiana and I got fewer delegates than Ted Cruz. RUCKER: I remember that. TRUMP: I said, “Whoa! Whoa! What happens here?” And then I polled well in Colorado. and instead of voting, the bosses picked…

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Hearing in Louisiana Republican Party’s Challenge to Soft Money Ban

Bloomberg BNA ($) has this story on yesterday’s hearing before a three-judge district court, including U.S. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan who was reportedly skeptical of the argument pressed by plaintiffs’ attorney Jim Bopp: While the logic of the high court’s recent majority opinions [like Citizens United and McCutcheon] might indicate soft-money ban is on shaky ground, Srinivasan said, a lower court must be reluctant to…

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“Louisiana Repeals 142-year-old Election Law”

…VOA: Two U.S. civil rights groups have dropped their lawsuit against the state of Louisiana after it repealed a law requiring naturalized citizens to show proof of citizenship when they registered to vote. The law had been on the books since 1874. The Southern Poverty Law Center and Fair Elections Legal Network were suing the state to block its continued enforcement….

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Judge Sri Srinivasan on 3-Judge Court Considering Major Soft Money Challenge

…track to the U.S. Supreme Court (4255 Money & Politics Report, 5/10/16). The soft-money challenge was brought by Bopp, a prominent Republican election lawyer with the Bopp Law Firm in Terre Haute, Ind., on behalf of the Louisiana Republican Party and two local Republican committees. If I am seeing this right, this is three Obama appointees for this panel, which has got to be a pretty good draw. But the real action in this case, assuming it…

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Bauer on Bopp’s Soft Money Challenge

Bauer: The Louisiana Republican Party has enlisted Jim Bopp to mount a challenge to campaign finance restrictions on state political parties and so it is widely assumed that this is a Trojan Horse lawsuit with much wider significance for the survival of McCain-Feingold.  And of course if the three-judge court, then eventually the Supreme Court, decide the case a certain way, it could well help doom the 1970’s reforms–if not immediately, then…

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“FEC Seeks to Derail Soft-Money Challenge”

…y of La. v. Federal Election Commission, D.D.C., No. 15-cv-1241, motion4/29/16). FEC lawyers filed a motion to dissolve a three-judge court appointed late last year to decide the soft-money challenge brought on behalf of the Louisiana Republican Party and two local Republican committees. The case was filed by James Bopp, a prominent Republican election lawyer with the Bopp Law Firm in Terre Haute, Ind. The latest FEC motion cited depositions of…

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“Federal lawsuit: Louisiana voter registration requirement discriminates against naturalized citizens”

Release: Louisiana is discriminating against naturalized citizens by requiring them to provide citizenship documents when registering to vote – a requirement that is not asked of other potential voters who must simply swear they are U.S. citizens, according to a federal lawsuit filed today by two civil rights groups. The lawsuit by the Fair Elections Legal Network and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was filed on behalf of three…

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“Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman sent to solitary confinement”

WaPo: Former Alabama governor Don E. Siegelman was sent to solitary confinement this week at the Louisiana facility in which he is imprisoned on political corruption charges, according to his son Joseph Siegelman. Siegelman, 70, was quoted extensively in a Washington Post article this week on former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, whose 2014 conviction on public corruption charges was reviewed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Siegelman…

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“The Trump-Cruz Louisiana Delegate Fight Could Be First Sign Of Turmoil To Come”

…n presidential race were to come down to the wire. Now, a fight stemming from the complicated process of selecting convention delegates suggests it has. The Trump campaign is currently in a tizzy over a development regarding Louisiana’s delegation to the Republican National Convention. While Trump narrowly defeated Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the state’s primary earlier this month, a recent Wall Street Journal report suggested that Cruz will…

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“Trump Camp Will File RNC Complaint Over Delegates, Not A Lawsuit”

…he selection of delegates in the Louisiana primary, not a lawsuit, as Trump suggested in a Sunday tweet. Trump’s lawsuit threat followed a report that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) could gain up to 10 unbound delegates from the Louisiana primary, five of which were previously committed to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) before he dropped out of the presidential race. Trump won the primary, but could end up with fewer delegates than Cruz. Delegates…

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“Parties, Independence and the State of Anti-Corruption Jurisprudence”

Bauer: Louisiana is arguing with the help of the indefatigable Jim Bopp that McCain-Feingold cannot limit “federal election activities”, such as GOTV and voter registration, that state and local parties conduct independently, without coordinating with their candidates. Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen reply in a brief filed as amici that this claim is clearly foreclosed by existing precedent: the soft money limits on…

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“Trump threatens lawsuit over delegate allocation”

…er the weekend by tweeting the threat of a lawsuit over last week’s maneuvering in Louisiana’s GOP delegate selection. “Just to show you how unfair the Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz – Lawsuit coming,” he wrote. Now, Louisiana is simply an example of Trump being outgunned when it comes to the nitty-gritty of delegate selection at the local level, and…

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Reformers File to Save McCain-Feingold Soft Money Ban

Release: Thee Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21 and Public Citizen today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Republican Party of Louisiana v. FEC, a case attempting to further undermine campaign contribution limits. Under one of the key provisions enacted as part of the 2002 McCain-Feingold law and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003, state and local parties have limits on how much…

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Richard Winger: Not Too Late for Third Party Bid to Challenge Trump

…titioning as an independent until April 24, 1980, and he got on in all states.  And the laws are better now than they were in 1980. Robert La Follette didn’t start until July 4, 1924, and he got on in all states except Louisiana.  And the Louisiana problem was not related to the deadline. Strom Thurmond didn’t decide to run as the Dixiecrat presidential candidate until mid-July 1948, after the Dem national convention put a civil…

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“The Voting Rights Act at 50: The Past, Present, and Future of the Right to Vote”

Symposium in the Louisiana Law Review: Tempering Society’s Looking Glass: Correcting Misconceptions About the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Securing American Democracy Orville Vernon Burton PDF The Irony of Intent: Statutory Interpretation and the Constitutionality of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act Joshua S. Sellers PDF Equal Sovereignty as a Right Against a Remedy Seth Davis PDF Reflections on Justice Thurgood Marshall and Shelby…

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“In battle over ‘forced recusals,’ Louisiana Supreme Court justice takes his case to federal court”

Fascinating: In an unusual legal skirmish, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Jeff Hughes filed a federal lawsuit over the holidays against four of his fellow justices, challenging their decision to exclude Hughes from participating in consideration of two so-called legacy lawsuits before the high court because the plaintiffs’ attorneys contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his 2012 election. Hughes, a Republican from Livingston Parish…

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Key Election Law/Voting Rights/Campaign Finance Litigation to Watch in 2016

…e to the Supreme Court, which could well take the case, setting up a major test of the meaning of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act in what Dan Tokaji has called the new vote denial cases. (Moritz page.) Republican Party of Louisiana challenge to federal soft money ban. In Citizens United, the Supreme Court struck one of the McCain-Feingold law’s two pillars: the ban on corporate and labor union general treasury funding of sham issue…

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Breaking: Supreme Court Unanimously Decides 3-Judge Redistricting Case, Helping Those Seeking #SCOTUS Fast Track

…217;s what I wrote recently about a decision by a district court to give a three-judge court in a case challenging the McCain-Feingold’s ban on party “soft money:” A federal district court has held that the Louisiana GOP, under the guidance of tenacious campaign finance lawyer Jim Bopp, has the right to have a challenge to McCain-Feingold’s soft money ban applied to state parties through a three-judge court. Getting there took…

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BIG Campaign Finance News: La. GOP Soft Money Lawsuit Gets 3-Judge Court, Likely Ticket to SCOTUS

I know it is late on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, but here’s some very big news. It sounds technical, but it really, really matters. A federal district court has held that the Louisiana GOP, under the guidance of tenacious campaign finance lawyer Jim Bopp, has the right to have a challenge to McCain-Feingold’s soft money ban applied to state parties through a three-judge court. Getting there took some very clever drafting, as…

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“Did Louisiana just elect ‘wrong’ governor due to flaw in Top 2 runoff method?”

…f the other statewide contests, including a runoff for lieutenant governor yesterday by more than 10%. It’s also quite likely that Edward would have lost if there had been an earlier runoff only among Republicans or if Louisiana has extended its use of ranked choice voting ballots from use by overseas and out-of-state military voters to all voters. But the state’s so-called “majority system” in fact did not provide a…

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“Your State And Local Elections Are Now A Super PAC Playground”

…unicipalities hold elections on even-numbered years. On Nov. 3, voters in Kentucky and Mississippi will hold gubernatorial and legislative elections, and voters in New Jersey and Virginia will vote on legislative candidates. Louisiana held its pre-runoff election for governor and many other down-ballot races on Oct. 24, and will hold a runoff on Nov. 21. Many other cities and municipalities have held or will hold elections this year, including…

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“New Challenge to ‘Soft Money’ Limits Faces Hurdles”

…R. Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Oct. 27 quoted Yogi Berra’s quip about “deja vu all over again,” as Bopp made his way to the microphone to argue on behalf of the Republican Party of Louisiana and two local party committees in that state. Cooper suggested Bopp’s latest case was similar to two earlier cases challenging party contribution limits established under the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform…

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“DC Circuit Spurns GOP Challenge to SEC Pay-to-Play Rule”

…strict procedures to comply with the SEC rule, which affects some federal elections as well as many non-federal elections. Four incumbent governors currently seek the presidency: Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, John Kasich of Ohio, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin. The court’s ruling leaves in place a barrier to fundraising in direct support of their campaigns. The opinion in New York Republican State Committee v. SEC is…

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“Fairness and Accountability Sought for Terrebonne Parish 32nd Judicial District Court Voters”

…d (LDF), and cooperating Louisiana attorney, Ronald L. Wilson, filed papers in Terrebonne Parish Branch NAACP, et al. v. Jindal, et al., a challenge under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution to Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana’s discriminatory voting method for the 32nd Judicial District Court (32nd JDC). On behalf of the Terrebonne Parish Branch NAACP and four black voters, LDF asked a Louisiana federal court to rule that at-large…

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“Louisiana Republican Party sues over campaign contribution limits to state political parties”

…The Advocate reports.  I’ll have more on this suit coming Monday. As for why the last suit was dropped: The Republican National Committee, along with the state party, sued the FEC last year over the same issue. But the RNC decided to drop the lawsuit. “The Louisiana party still wanted to pursue it, so that’s why we have refiled,” Bopp said….

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Bloomberg BNA on Republicans’ New Soft Money Suit

Ken Doyle: [update: also here without a subscription] No Explanation of Timing The decision to renew the legal challenge to the BCRA soft-money limits on behalf of the Louisiana Republicans—but not the RNC—may reflect divisions within the party over how to proceed on campaign finance issues. Asked why a new case was being filed now after the previous legal challenge was dropped, Bopp responded in an Aug. 4 e-mail to Bloomberg BNA: “You will…

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Republicans File Major New Challenge to McCain-Feingold Soft Money Rules

Read the complaint in Republican Party of Louisiana v. FEC.  This is a major challenge, filed by Jim Bopp, raising not just as applied challenges, but facial challenges to the rules which limit how much money political parties can raise and from whom.  And it has a real chance to succeed if the Supreme Court decides to weigh in. Much will depend upon whether the D.C. court, where this case is filed, convenes a three-judge court. If so, that…

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Democrats Have Stronger Proposal to Amend Voting Rights Act, But Huge Obstacles to Enacting It

…ty-five years, or ten violations if one was statewide, to submit future election changes for federal approval. This new formula would initially cover thirteen states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. (The VRAA of 2014 covered only Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.) Coverage would last for a ten-year period. Berman reports the…

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Election Law and Legislation at the AALS Annual Meeting

…S Oversight of Charitable and Other Exempt Organizations – Broken? Fixable? (Papers to be published in Pittsburgh Tax Review) Ellen P. Aprill, Loyola Law School James J. Fishman, Pace University School of Law Philip Hackney, Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center Terri L. Helge, Texas A&M University School of Law Donald B. Tobin, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law & Daniel P. Tokaji, The Ohio State…

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“A Crowded GOP Field for 2016 Encounters Donors Reluctant to Commit Early”

…many of the same donors. In Texas, bundlers are feeling pulled by Bush, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz. Perry and Cruz are also competing for the backing of wealthy evangelical Christians, as are Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Despite the appeals, which have stepped up in recent weeks, many top donors have committed to being noncommittal, wary of fueling the kind of costly and…

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Ted Cruz Sends Out Fundraising Email Suggesting Pets and Dead People Will Vote in #LASEN Election

…#8212;Forwarded message—————- From: Roger Francis Villere, Jr. Date: Wed. Nov. 5, 2014 Dear Friend, The entire Democratic Party is waking up angry this morning. They’re bent on winning the Louisiana Senate seat. This is an all hands on deck situation. As the Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, I need the help of all Republicans nationwide today . Yes, we’re all in a great mood this morning. But…

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“Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Partially Upholds Challenge to Louisiana’s Administration of National Voter Registration Act”

…ter registration services to its public assistance clients. Plaintiffs in the case, represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., (LDF); Project Vote; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP; and Louisiana attorney Ron Wilson, previously secured, after a vigorously contested trial, a ruling that Louisiana failed, as required by Section 7 of the NVRA or the “motor voter law,” to offer mandatory voter registration…

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“New Outside Groups Prove Worth to Conservative Donors”

…groups spent roughly $77 million on television advertising in the midterm elections, officials said, including eleven Senate races. Koch groups appeared to be the biggest outside spenders on television in Arkansas, Iowa and Louisiana, airing a combined $25 million in ads. Republican candidates won Arkansas and Iowa, and the party’s candidate is favored to win a coming runoff in Louisiana. American Crossroads and its affiliated nonprofit group…

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“Could New Voting Restriction Determine Control of the Senate?”

Dan Tokaji: All eyes tonight – and quite possibly afterwards – will be on which party will control the Senate. The latest polling suggests that it will come down to eight states:  Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.   Republicans will control the Senate if they prevail in four or more of these states, while Democrats need at least five to maintain control.* Of the eight states in play, four…

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Nudging in the Right Direction: A Response to Bob Bauer

…ously and agree with him that it’s not enough for a state-mandated disclosure to be truthful for it to withstand scrutiny.  There’s a great example from a voting-rights case decided during the 1960s.  The Court invalidated a Louisiana law requiring that the photos of candidates appear on the ballot, recognizing it as a patent effort to invite voters to discriminate on the basis of race.  We’re especially grateful that Bauer has pushed on this…

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“Attacks on abortion, voting, follow similar paths”

…an Party. The bulk of these restrictions have been passed since Republicans took control of a slew of state legislatures in 2010: Voter ID laws were passed in states like Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, along with cuts to early voting in several more. Medically unnecessary restrictions have also been placed on abortion clinics in all three of those states, and similar laws threaten to close clinics in Louisiana, Alabama and Oklahoma. Many…

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