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Constitution

The Challenge of 2014:  Regulating the Politics of Money and Voter Protection

The 2012 election cycle saw unprecedented amounts of money flood the political system.  While some have minimized the impact of Citizens United v. FEC due to the result at the top of the ticket, the influence of massive, target campaign contributions in other races significantly altered the political landscape at the federal level.  When combined with a well funded and systematic effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to alter election procedures at the state level, a herculean effort was required by the Department of Justice and the advocacy community to protect equal access to the ballot box.  Despite these efforts, however, voters were still required to endure long lines and complained of election irregularities.  As we move toward the 2014 midterm elections, the challenges of last year will be heightened due to historically lower turnout levels,  the continuing impact of money politics and even more refined voter suppression efforts.

The 2014 election cycle will present two critical legislative challenges:  1).  Regulation of election contributions and expenditures and 2).  Modernization of the election system, with an emphasis on early voting and enforcement of voter protection laws.  We believe the legislative and outreach strategy necessary to achieve the above objectives.

Legislative and Outreach Strategy

Bills to be Introduced

Bill to Amend Voting Rights Act of 2014 as Introduced

Briefings

  • Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder/Voting Rights Act
  • Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (Gonzales)
  • McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (docket 12-536)

Hearings

 

Oversight

Articles/Editorials

1/17/13 - Billion-Dollar Democracy: The Unprecedented Role of Money in the 2012 Elections
A Dēmos report on the outside spending from new sources on the first presidential election since Citizens United
Source: Adam Lioz & Blair Bowie, January 2013

2/26/13 - Voting rights back in court
Opinion: Each reauthorization of the 1965 law upholds the democratic ideals of this country.
Source: POLITICO, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. John Conyers, February 2013

More on Constitution

Oct 6, 2017 Press Release

Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN) issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s issuance of two deeply troubling documents:

Oct 3, 2017 Press Release

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 36 on a near party line vote of 237-189. H.R. 36, the so called “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” bans abortions beginning at 20 weeks after fertilization and is a direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Oct 3, 2017 Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet: H.R. 36, The So-Called “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”

H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” bans abortions beginning at 20 weeks after fertilization.  The bill has no health exception and only an extremely narrow exception for cases where a woman’s life is endangered by a physical condition.   The bill also has woefully inadequate rape and incest exceptions.  By banning pre-viability abortions, H.R. 36 is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade

Oct 3, 2017 Press Release

H.R. 36, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” is a dangerous and far-reaching attack on a woman’s constitutional right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy - a right that the Supreme Court guaranteed more than 44 years ago in Roe v. Wade.

Sep 27, 2017 Press Release

Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s continued inflammatory rhetoric urging the National Football League (NFL) to fire players for protesting racial injustice:

Sep 27, 2017 Press Release

The House of Representatives today approved by voice vote H.R. 3229, bipartisan legislation to protect the safety of federal judges. This bill, authored by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and a product of the House Judiciary Committee, extends the authority of the Judicial Conference to redact sensitive personal information contained in the financial disclosure reports of federal judges.

Sep 15, 2017 Press Release

In advance of Sunday’s Constitution Day, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) introduced H. Con. Res. 79, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that it and the States should consider a constitutional amendment to reform the Electoral College and to establish a process for electing the President and Vice President by a national popular vote.  The resolution also encourages the states to further their efforts to form an interstate compact to award their Electoral College votes to the national popular vote winner.  Rep.

Sep 14, 2017 Press Release

Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Republican Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced H.R. 3771, the House companion to U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis’ (R-N.C.) Special Counsel Integrity Act. The bill text is attached.