Letter from Lawrence Lessig about Two New Supreme Court Cases

Big news on the legal front!

Today I received an email letter from Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig advising that the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted for review two cases regarding the question whether federal Electors from a given state  must vote the presidential candidate who wins the most votes in their state.  See below!

John House, President


Great news: the Supreme Court just agreed to hear two major cases we brought about presidential electors and whether they are legally compelled to vote for the candidate that won the most votes in their respective states! The Supreme Court decides to hear only a tiny percentage of all the cases that come before it, so this announcement is just more evidence that our two-pronged strategy is working. Slowly but surely, the combination of our legal cases and our advocacy will make impactful changes to our democracy. Each day, we get closer to our goals. And today we took a particularly big step forward.

For an explainer about these cases—what the legal issues are, who are clients are, and how this relates to the way we select the president—see this webpage on our site. We’ll also have much more to come on these as we head for an oral argument this spring and a decision by the Fourth of July. But for now, thanks for your continued support.


Rep. Xochitl Torres Small cosponsors H. J. Res 2

Xochitl Torres Small

On Dec. 23, 2019, Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (Dist. 2 NM) added her name in support of the Democracy for All Amendment, H.J. Res. 2  making the delegation in the House of Representatives from New Mexico unanimous in calling for campaign finance reform through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution..

Please call and/or write to her to thank her for taking this bold step for truly representative government of the people. Go here for information to contact her.

Democracy Surges in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s stunning vote deepens China’s conundrum


from The Washington Post, Monday Nov. 25, 2019

by Ishaan Tharoor

For months, millions of Hong Kongers have taken to the streets in defense of their unique political freedoms, clamoring for greater democratic reforms while waging street battles with the city’s increasingly brutal police forces. On Sunday, they delivered the same message in a different format: the ballot box. Backed by record voter turnout, pro-democracy politicians swept Hong Kong’s local district elections, seizing control of more than 80 percent of the contested seats. The verdict was unmistakable and another stinging riposte to China’s authoritarian leadership in Beijing.


Rep. Ben Ray Lujan to Introduce New Campaign Finance Reform Package

November 05, 2019


Nambé, N.M. – Today, Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, along with U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Peter Welch (D-VT), announced that they will reintroduce a campaign finance reform package this week to bolster transparency and accountability in elections. The legislation is being introduced one year ahead of the 2020 elections.

This package would hold special interests accountable and ensure transparency in political advertising. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling opened the doors to unlimited money in politics, and during the 2018 elections, $175 million in dark money was spent to influence the American people’s vote with little-to-no accountability and transparency.

The package includes:

The Fair and Clear Campaign Transparency Act would require that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maintain broadcast stations’ public files about political time sold or given away in a machine-readable format. Currently, this information is not made available in an accessible way, presenting a major barrier for the public to know who is funding political advertisements.

The Honest Campaigns Act would increase transparency in political advertising by making it easier to determine who is paying for political advertisements. Currently, the FCC has the authority to require the on-air disclosure of the “true identity” of the people and groups buying campaign and political advertisements, but the FCC has thus far failed to act. This legislation would require the disclosure of the actual people behind anonymous ads.

“With the rise of dark money in politics, it is past time that Congress acts to make political advertising more transparent and accountable for the American people. Our communities have the right to know which organizations and donors are funding political advertisements,” said Luján. “I’m proud to spearhead this effort to pull back the curtain on dark money in politics and restore transparency in our elections.”

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United opened a spigot of opaque special interest spending in American elections,” saidWelch.  “Voters have the right to know who is behind the wall-to-wall political ads flooding the airwaves before an election. Our legislation will bring transparency and accountability to elections by putting a bright spotlight on the dark money funding these ads.”

“The American people have a right to know the identity of those who spend millions and millions of dollars to blanket the airwaves with political ads trying to influence their vote. For far too long, lax laws have allowed for next to no transparency in political advertising, leaving voters subjected to a constant stream of often dishonest claims and accusations from otherwise nameless, faceless organizations. I’m proud to join in introducing these two important pieces of legislation to provide voters with a level of accountability that is long overdue,” said Yarmuth.

“With special interests, multi-national corporations, and hostile foreign actors spending hundreds of millions of dollars in secret money to try to influence our elections in recent years, all Americans deserve to know who is trying to influence their voices and their votes,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs with the nonpartisan government watchdog group Common Cause. “Common Cause commends Representative Luján for introducing these common-sense bills to promote transparency and accountability in our democracy.”

“There’s no reason a group that wants to spend millions to influence an election should be able to conceal the identity of its special interest backers from voters,” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United Action Fund. “The lack of transparency and disclosure for political ads leaves Americans in the dark about who’s trying to influence their vote and their government. These common-sense bills would shine a light on the unlimited, secret special interest spending that’s corrupting our elections. End Citizens United applauds Representatives Luján, Yarmuth and Welch for their leadership, and we will fight vigorously in support of these bills.”


Adan Serna (202) 225-61