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Case Name Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity PR-DC-0007
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-01354-CKK ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Presidential Authority
Attorney Organization Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
Case Summary
On July 10, 2017, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. LCCRUL sued the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (Commission) and other agents of the executive branch under the Federal ... read more >
On July 10, 2017, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. LCCRUL sued the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (Commission) and other agents of the executive branch under the Federal Advisory Commission Act (FACA), the Mandamus and Venue Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). LCCRUL, represented by its own counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The case was assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

LCCRUL claimed that the Commission was being used to advance private agendas. According to LCCRUL, the Commission was born out of President Trump’s unfounded claim that there were three to five million illegal votes cast in the 2016 Presidential Election. As such, LCCRUL alleged that the Committee was in violation of FACA, which imposed strict transparency requirements when any part of the executive branch seeks the advice or recommendation of a group that includes non-federal officials.

On the same day the complaint was filed, LCCRUL moved for a temporary restraining order (TRO), asking the court to :
1. order the defendants to produce records of the Commission's responses to LCCRUL's request prior to the Commission’s July 19, 2017 scheduled meeting,
2. require the Commission to open the July 19 meeting to in-person public attendance and participation, and
3. enjoin the Commission from holding the July 19 meeting until it met its records and public access obligations under FACA.

On July 18, 2017, the court denied this motion without prejudice, reasoning that the case was not likely to succeed on the merits and that the defendants’ prior disclosure was sufficient for the public and LCCRUL to engage in an informed debate regarding the activities of the Commission. LCCRUL appealed this denial to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On December 20, 2017, the D.C. Circuit dismissed the appeal, having received a consent motion for voluntary dismissal from LCCRUL.

According to the plaintiff, the defendants failed to honor commitments to the court to produce relevant records prior to the July 19 meeting. In response, on July 21, 2017, LCCRUL moved for a status conference and for limited expedited discovery. On August 30, 2017, this motion was granted in part and denied in part. Specifically, the court required the Commission to submit declarations detailing the actions taken to identify documents for collection and potential disclosure. Additionally, the court asked the parties to file a joint status report and stayed the defendants’ obligation to answer the complaint.

On October 13, 2017, LCCRUL filed a motion to compel compliance with the above order, arguing that many records were improperly lumped together and that they were incomplete.

On January 3, 2018, President Trump disbanded the commission. On June 28, 2018, the court denied without prejudice LCCRUL’s motion to compel compliance and for limited discovery, finding that the plaintiff was not entitled to the disclosure of any documents associated with a then-defunct commission. 2018 WL 3213297.

On August 29, the defendant moved to dismiss the case because the commission had been disbanded. Then, on September 7, the plaintiffs also moved to voluntarily dismiss the case without prejudice. Their motion noted that they had substantially received what they sought in their complaint:
1. The defendants formally apologized for the failure to release the documents,
2. The defendants had released the documents to the public by former Commissioner Matthew Dunlap. They can be found here.
3. The documents released demonstrate disturbing plans of the Commission to lay the groundwork for voter suppression efforts, based on fraudulent claims of voter fraud.
4. The defendants had formally disbanded the commission.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly then ordered the case dismissed without prejudice. This case is now closed.

Jake Parker - 07/19/2018
Anna Brito - 10/24/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) United States
Plaintiff Description Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2017
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PR-DC-0006 : ACLU v. Trump (D.D.C.)
Additional Resources
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  Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation: The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity
The Federal Judicial
Date: Sep. 25, 2018
By: Robert Timothy Reagan (Federal Judicial Center)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-01354-CKK (D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 17] (D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/18/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PR-DC-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 43] (2018 WL 3213297) (D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Voluntary Dismissal and [Proposed] Order [ECF# 46]
PR-DC-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen (FISC, D.D.C.)
PR-DC-0007-0002 | PR-DC-0007-0003 | PR-DC-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Clarke, Kristen M. (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004
Freedman, John A. (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004 | PR-DC-0007-9000
Greenbaum, Jon M. (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004 | PR-DC-0007-9000
Hutchinson, Kathryn W. (California)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004
Jacobson, Daniel F. (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004 | PR-DC-0007-9000
Johnson-Blanco, Marcia (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004
Jones, Robert Stanton (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004 | PR-DC-0007-9000
Rosenberg, Ezra David (New Jersey)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004 | PR-DC-0007-9000
Rubel, Eric A. (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001
Weiner, David J. (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-0001 | PR-DC-0007-0004 | PR-DC-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Borson, Joseph Evan (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-9000
Federighi, Carol (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-9000
Shapiro, Elizabeth J. (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-9000
Wolfe, Kristina Ann (District of Columbia)
PR-DC-0007-9000

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