Campaign Legal Center Inc

Advancing Democracy Through Law

aka CLC   |   Washington, DC   |  www.campaignlegalcenter.org

Mission

The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center advances democracy through law at the federal, state and local levels, fighting for every American’s rights to responsive government and a fair opportunity to participate in and affect the democratic process.

Ruling year info

2002

Principal Officer

Mr. Trevor Potter

Main address

1101 14th St NW Suite 400

Washington, DC 20005 USA

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EIN

04-3608387

NTEE code info

Crime, Legal Related N.E.C. (I99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At Campaign Legal Center (CLC), we are advancing democracy through law, fighting for every American’s right to participate in the democratic process. CLC uses tactics such as litigation, policy advocacy, communications and partnerships to win victories that result in a more transparent, accountable and inclusive democracy. Our long-term goal is a government responsive to the people. CLC’s commitment is to democracy, not to any political party or to any particular electoral result. We think about systemic impact when we choose which work to pursue, but we work at all levels of government to introduce innovative ideas that will drive significant change or set an important legal precedent. Our priority is engaging and driving action – whether in the courtroom, newsroom or statehouse. CLC’s knowledge of election law matters is unmatched. Peer organizations, journalists and government officials rely on our analysis and legal skills. It is our expertise and non-partisanship, combined with

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Campaign Finance

The First Amendment guarantees every American the right to participate fully in the political process.

The dependence of political candidates on wealthy special interests is a serious flaw in our political system, and makes elected officials responsive to their large donors rather than to the public. The tremendous power of special interest money in politics often drowns out the voice of everyday Americans, threatens our First Amendment freedoms, and erodes the foundations of our entire democracy. To restore fairness to our political system, CLC advocates for passing and enforcing strong campaign finance reforms that help guarantee a democracy responsive to the people.

These reform solutions include placing reasonable limits on funding of campaigns, complete transparency of campaign spending and public financing of elections. CLC helps enact such policies at the state, local and federal levels, and works to ensure that the Federal Election Commission enforces current campaign finance laws. CLC also defends laws that promote the First Amendment’s guarantee that every American has the ability to participate in the democratic process.

Population(s) Served

Democracy works best when our voting maps are fairly drawn on a nonpartisan basis to ensure that Americans can participate equally in the election of their representatives.

Unfortunately, incumbents often rig the system to benefit themselves, their party and special interest supporters, manipulating voting maps to dictate the outcome of elections.  Two sources of discrimination in voting maps are partisan gerrymandering and electoral systems that under-represent people of color. The result is  dysfunction,  mistrust and  public policies  that  ignore  the will of the people.

CLC advances and supports legal cases that address redistricting violations. CLC is also on the front lines in the fight for fair redistricting practices in the states, and continues to promote voters’ rights to fair districts nationwide.

Population(s) Served

Voting should be accessible for all citizens, no matter where they live, the color of their skin or how much money they make.

To make every vote count, we need a system that is free and fair to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, including those who have served their time and paid their debt to society. 

CLC believes that state and federal policies should uniformly protect the right to vote and promote voter participation across the United States. Through litigation, policy analysis, state-based advocacy and public education, CLC seeks to protect the right to vote and expand access to the ballot. 

Population(s) Served

One of the hallmarks of a healthy democracy is public confidence in the integrity of democratic institutions.

That public confidence is earned through the commitment of those in and working with government to uphold the principle that public service is a public trust. Federal, state and local governments have a responsibility to enact and enforce clear ethical guidelines and laws. Only then can public officials adequately navigate potential conflicts and be held accountable when they break the public’s trust. This system is necessary to ensure a healthy democracy.

CLC proposes solutions for stronger ethics at all levels of government, and serves as a government watchdog, holding elected officials accountable for ethics violations.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of legal cases filed or participated in by our attorneys

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our legal team of 38 attorneys and support staff filed or participated in 64 cases to protect the right to vote, ensure fair maps, enforce and defend campaign finance laws and fight ethics violations.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CLC envisions our work on voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics as advancing three fundamental goals for our democratic system:

Transparency: Americans have easy and timely access to the information necessary to enable and inform political participation.

Accountability: Public officials who violate the law, public trust or constituent wishes – and any interests that encourage such violations – face the realistic probability of legal consequences or must answer to voters through an effective democratic process.

Inclusion: Every American has an easy and meaningful ability to vote for and finance candidates.
To achieve these goals, CLC works at all levels of government to introduce innovative ideas that will drive significant change or set an important legal precedent. We carefully choose which cases and policies to pursue to ensure we are working toward systemic impact. Our priority is pushing for fair representation—whether in the courtroom, newsroom or statehouse.

CLC creates impact and achieves its goals through a blend of strategies:

•Litigation–In some cases, CLC is proactive in seeking out opportunities to defend democracy in the courts. In others, the work is reactive based on issues that arise at federal, state or local levels. We defend existing campaign finance laws and fight voter suppression laws, and serve as a resource for jurisdictions and attorneys general facing litigation.

•Policy advocacy–CLC focuses on the issues that could have the biggest impact, envisioning what the laws should be, and drafting and sharing model legislation or bill language CLC supports. As a watchdog, CLC also works to influence officials and opinion leaders to change or uphold policy.

•Communications–CLC works to boost awareness and provide education around its priority issues, as well as leading coalition messaging efforts.As the role of communication in CLC’s impact grows, we are refining our approach.

•Partnerships –CLC builds relationships with allied groups, on Capitol Hill and in the courts, and with funders to help fight litigation battles, move legislation, establish policy, define strategies and make positive change.

Financials

Campaign Legal Center Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Campaign Legal Center Inc

Board of directors
as of 8/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Norman Ornstein

Guy-Uriel Charles

Duke University School of Law

Anthony Corrado

Colby College

Charles Fried

Harvard Law School

Deborah Hellman

University of Virginia School of Law

Pamela Karlan

Stanford Law School

Paul Klingenstein

Aberdare Ventures

Clay Mulford

National Science and Math Initiative

Norman Ornstein

American Enterprise Institute

Martina Vandenberg

Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center

Roger Witten

WilmerHale