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Brennan Center for Justice et al. v. New York State Board of Elections

The Brennan Center and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, representing several former and current state legislators, filed suit in the Supreme Court in Albany County, New York against the State Board of Elections to close the state’s infamous “LLC Loophole.”

Published: June 27, 2017

The Bren­nan Center and Emery Celli Brinck­er­hoff & Abady LLP, on behalf of several former and current State legis­lat­ors and other plaintiffs, filed suit against the New York State Board of Elec­tions (BOE) to close the state’s infam­ous “LLC Loop­hole,” which allows LLCs to give campaign contri­bu­tions at much higher rates than corpor­a­tions or part­ner­ships. Since the Loop­hole was created by the BOE in 1996, contrib­ut­ors donat­ing through LLCs have circum­ven­ted contri­bu­tion limits and disclos­ure require­ments that the Legis­lature created to protect the integ­rity of New York’s demo­cratic process — and injec­ted millions of secret dollars into state elec­tions. In April, 2015, the Bren­nan Center and Emery Celli asked the BOE to close the Loop­hole, but the board, in a 2–2 vote, refused. In 2016, the Board, again by a 2–2 vote, rejec­ted a separ­ate but similar request, and thereby defeated this attempt at reform. 

The Bren­nan Center and Emery Celli sued the Board in New York’s trial court for both decisions. Both suits were dismissed in 2016 and 2017 respect­ively for proced­ural reas­ons that the peti­tion­ers contend were incor­rect.

In June, 2017, the Bren­nan Center and Emery Celli appealed in a brief to the State Court of Appeals asking it to reverse both 2015 and 2016 decisions. This lawsuit presents a prom­ising oppor­tun­ity to close the Loop­hole once and for all.

Please see our press release here.

Court Docu­ments

Exhib­its

Bren­nan Center 1 (2016 decision)

Plaintiffs’ Affi­davits

Plaintiffs’ Open­ing Brief

Defend­ants’ Brief

Inter­ven­ors’ Brief

Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief

Court Opin­ion

Bren­nan Center 2 (2017 decision)

Plaintiffs’ Affi­davits 

Plaintiffs’ Open­ing Brief

Defend­ants’ Brief

Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief

Court Opin­ion

Appeal

Plaintiffs’ Open­ing Brief

Defend­ants’ Brief

Inter­ven­ors’ Brief

Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief

Court Opin­ion (pending)