Election Law & Campaign Finance
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Most election law cases involve the First Amendment, as many of these laws are enacted at the expense of the freedoms guaranteed to all by the First Amendment, and particularly the Freedom of the Press.
CLDEF believes that most federal and state election laws and campaign finance laws are not about good government. Rather, they are designed by incumbents to protect the central interest of incumbents — which is to get reelected.
Incumbents would never think to pass an election-related law without knowing for certain whether it would benefit them, or make them more or less vulnerable to a challenger. Therefore, courts should give no deference whatsoever to laws passed by Congress or state legislatures. In fact, all such laws should be viewed with suspicion.
For many years, CLDEF has been involved in testifying before the Federal Election Commission, and opposing efforts to limit the freedom of Americans to criticize and oppose incumbent legislators.
Below are some of the Election Law and Campaign Finance matters in which CLDEF has been involved.