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The Bren­nan Center for Justice at New York Univer­sity School of Law has designed this manual for people who want to draft campaign finance reform legis­la­tion that is both appro­pri­ate for their community and sens­it­ive to consti­tu­tional concerns. Because differ­ent laws may be appro­pri­ate in differ­ent states and local­it­ies, the hand­book will not tell you what provi­sions to include in legis­la­tion you draft. In our view, people with ties to communit­ies inter­ested in reform are in the best posi­tion to determ­ine what legis­la­tion is needed and achiev­able. We there­fore do not provide model laws here, but we do identify organ­iz­a­tions that can provide such models.

Rather than provid­ing a blue­print for reform, we offer prac­tical sugges­tions and legal analysis that will assist reformers in select­ing and draft­ing appro­pri­ate campaign finance provi­sions. The hand­book certainly should help drafters who wish to maxim­ize the poten­tial for avoid­ing a lawsuit or succeed­ing in court if their legis­la­tion is chal­lenged, so that campaign finance reform can be imple­men­ted exped­i­tiously. The manual also should be of use to activ­ists who aim to push the envel­ope of permiss­ible reform by draft­ing stat­utes or initi­at­ives that can serve as the basis for test cases. Both groups of drafters must under­stand the state of current law to accom­plish their purpose.

Writ­ten by Bren­nan Center attor­neys who have litig­ated campaign finance cases in federal and state courts through­out the nation, Writ­ing Reform offers both prac­tical tips and legal analysis for drafters of campaign finance reform bills or initi­at­ives—those who want to stay within current consti­tu­tional constraints and those who want to test those limits.