WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is appealing a ruling made against it that it alleges violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which requires posting notices of meetings of advisory committees so discussions will be open to the public.
The appeal was filed July 7.
Congress mandated that advisory committees be open to the public in order to reign in members of these committees who may want to advance their own agendas.
The appeal is centered around the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was formed under President Donald Trump’s administration in May of this year. The commission’s purpose, according to the executive order signed by Trump, is to “study the registration and voting processes used in federal elections.”
The executive order also states the commission is “sole advisory” and after giving a report to the president on “voting processes” will disband after 30 days.
The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law seeks transparency from the commission. It seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the commission because it wants “open to in-person public attendance and participation," as well as open records pertaining to any meetings held by the commission.
Many states have decided not to comply with the commission’s request for voter roll data, which includes personal information about voters.
In the motion prior to the appeal on July 7, the court found that, “although plaintiff has standing, it has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits, principally because it has not demonstrated that, at the present time, defendants are out of compliance with FACA’s open meetings and document disclosure provisions.”
The court also concluded that the commission gives proper notice to the public to engage in meetings and public debate. Also, they ruled The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law did not show how they would “suffer an irreparable informational injury.”