TIME: Marc Elias Fought Trump’s 2020 Election Lawsuits. Can He Win The Battle Over Voting Rights?
TIME: Marc Elias Fought Trump's 2020 Election Lawsuits. Can He Win The Battle Over Voting Rights?
The pandemic relegated Democratic power lawyer Marc Elias to fighting election lawsuits on an iPad from his home in Northern Virginia. He traded his suit and tie for a sweatshirt, and he argued cases with his two dogs lying next to him on the couch. That’s where he worked last fall as Donald Trump’s campaign sought to overturn Joe Biden’s victory, sometimes attending two Zoom meetings simultaneously to keep up with the workload. “I don’t sleep a super amount anyway,” he says in a March 16 interview, “but during that time period it was very intense.”
Elias has earned a reputation as the nation’s most aggressive Democratic election lawyer. The 52-year-old is a partner and chair of the political law practice at Perkins Coie, the Democratic party’s go-to firm. He served as general counsel for John Kerry and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, successfully litigated recounts for former Senator Al Franken and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and carved out a niche as a campaign finance guru. But was in 2020 that he skyrocketed to national prominence and became something of a resistance hero. …
Elias has also been scrutinized by watchdog groups for his work on campaign finance issues, including his role in convincing the Federal Election Commission to loosen restrictions on congressional lawmakers engaging with Super PACs. “He is not a big fan of restrictions on money in politics,” says Paul S. Ryan, Vice President of Policy and Litigation at the non-partisan accountability group Common Cause. “He has done a very good job as an attorney of fighting for the ability of political parties to raise and spend money however they choose.”