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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


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





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

Jun 26, 2017 Press Release


Contact: Shadawn Reddick-Smith
(202) 225-6906

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Subcommittee on Immigration Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) today released the following joint statement after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would take up Trump’s Muslim and Refugee ban: 

Jun 20, 2017 Press Release


Contact: Maria McElwain (Blumenthal)
(202) 224-6452
Shadawn Reddick-Smith (Conyers)
(202) 225-6906

May 6, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. - In a signing statement issued on May 5th concerning the omnibus spending bill, Donald Trump indicated he may no longer fund a decades old program that helps finance construction projects for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, asserting they  “allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender,” and that his administration would treat those programs “in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the law under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”’

Apr 4, 2017 Press Release


Washington, D.C.On Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 10:30AM, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a forum entitled, “Civil Rights Under the Trump Administration-The First 100 Days.” 

Mar 24, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), House Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY), and House Judiciary Committee Members Reps.

May 17, 2016 Press Release

Washington, D.C.Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) and  Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) unveiled the findings of a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on actions needed to reduce racial and socioeconomic segregation, and address disparities in K-12 public schools. Ranking Members Conyers and Scott, along with retired Congressman and former Ranking Member George Miller, first requested this report in May 2014.

Apr 14, 2016 Press Release

H.R. 4924, the “Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2016,” is the latest attempt to erode the constitutional right to an abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade more than 40 years ago.

Among other things, the bill would make it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion if she or he knows that the procedure is being done because of the race or sex of the fetus or the race of one of the parents, regardless of viability.

As I noted in the 112th Congress, when we last considered this bill, the bill is deeply flawed for a number of reasons.

Apr 13, 2016 Press Release

I want to begin by thanking you, Chairman Goodlatte, and your staff, for working with us to develop the amendment before us now.

I also want to thank the members of the Digital Due Process Coalition, many of whom are represented here today, for their tireless dedication to the work of modernizing federal statute for the Internet age.

Over the last few weeks, Mr. Chairman, as we have worked out our few remaining differences on this bill, we have crafted what I believe to be an effective compromise.