[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Monday against President Donald Trump's election commission for lack of accountability in violation of federal law. The Federal Advisory Committee Act [text, PDF] was created to ensure that all advisory committees were accountable to the public regarding procedure and operation. The ACLU's complaint accuses the administration of violating provisions of the Act in place to ensure that commissions are transparent to the public. Specifically, the complaint charges the "Pence-Kobach Commission" with violating two requirements of the Act: (1) the non-discretionary transparency and public access requirement, and (2) the public access requirement.
The Pence-Kobach Commission has already held its first meeting without public notice; without making that meeting open to the public; and without timely notice in the Federal Register, §10(a). It has also failed to make any of its “records, reports, transcripts, minutes, appendixes, working papers, drafts, studies, agenda, or other documents which were made available to or prepared for or by” the Pence-Kobach Commission “available for public inspection."Trump created the Commission on Election Integrity through an executive order [the White House, official statement], stating: "we can't take for granted the integrity of the vote. This bipartisan commission will review ways to strengthen the integrity of elections in order to protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote because the integrity of the vote is the foundation of our democracy." President Trump's suspicion of voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election motivated the formation of this commission.