Brennan Center, Co-Plaintiffs to Appeal “LLC Loophole” Decision

March 17, 2016

Last year, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law 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 to close the state’s infamous “LLC Loophole,” which has allowed millions of secret dollars to enter state elections.

Yesterday, a judge on the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled against the Center and co-plaintiffs, leaving the “LLC Loophole” open for the time being.

“There’s no question we are disappointed. We believe this ruling was wrong,” said Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “The state legislature never intended to create this loophole, and it has had a detrimental effect on New York’s elections and governing. We intend to pursue all of our options for correcting the Board of Elections error, including an appeal of this ruling.”

“As shown in the Silver and Skelos trials, LLCs are at the center of the corruption that infects Albany,” said Elizabeth Saylor, counsel for petitioners and a partner at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff and Abady LLP. “This corruption is made possible by the Board of Election’s decision to treat LLCs as natural persons that are not subject to the limits the legislature set for corporations, partnerships, and other artificial entities. We are confident the appeals court will recognize that the LLC Loophole undermines the campaign finance restrictions passed by legislature.” 

Read more about the Brennan Center’s work on New York reform.