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Court Case

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)