Convention Edition 2003 Home   Newsletters

Fall 2003

Winter 2003

President's Message (Maile Bay)
To All Leaguers
Proposed Positions for Adoption through Concurrence
On Election of Judges
Elections Office: The Newest & Final (Jean Aoki)
LWV-US Files Amicus Brief
Judicial Independence: Educating Citizens to Protect Equal Justice... (Nancy Connors)
LWV-US Ed Fund Grant
Ugly Side of Redistricting (Jean Aoki)
Practicum on the Hawaii Legislative Process (Grace Furukawa)

LWV-US Files Amicus Brief

The national League filed a friend of the court brief on the McCain-Feingold or Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (McConnell v. FEC). The case reviews the constitutionality of BCRA, which the League urged be upheld. "A reversal of BCRA by the Court would be like throwing gasoline on a fire that is already out of control," argued the League. "Without meaningful reform, the corruption that has escalated in recent years will continue to spread..." It comes down to this... should our government serve the special interests or the interests of the people?"

"BCRA promises to restore a tarnished campaign system," said Kay Maxwell, speaking for the League. "BCRA is moderate reform that simply closes the loopholes that have emerged in recent years. The legislation brings campaigns back to where they were 15 years ago, before they were fueled by huge soft money, special interest contributions from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals," the League president said. "Yes to corruption or no to corruption: that is the question that the Supreme court will decide," according to Maxwell.

The League's brief deals specifically with "sham issue" advertisements – campaign ads that masquerade as issue advocacy – and asks the Court to uphold the original definition of electioneering communications in BCRA. "We must have full disclosure on all campaign ads," Maxwell added, "and that is what the new law will ensure. Before BCRA was passed, unlimited amounts of undisclosed money were being spent by individuals, corporations and other entities on 'sham issue' ads, evading the old laws," said Maxwell.

The League's briefs, available at

Convention Edition 2003 Home   Newsletters Winter 2003