Eighteen months ago, we founded Democracy Forward on the simple idea that government corruption hurts real people – and those hurt deserve a chance to fight back. Corruption is when our government abuses the public trust and wields its power to benefit special interests at the expense of the people: programs that improve public health are undermined to serve ideological agendas. Rules that protect people from harm are weakened or rolled back at the behest of industry lobbyists. And critical decisions affecting the lives of the American people are made outside of public view, violating rules designed to ensure transparency and public accountability.

In 2018, we fought government corruption in court

by filing


new lawsuits

on behalf of people and organizations harmed by Trump’s corruption and exposing wrongdoing



Trump administration agencies.

All told, we’ve brought 73 lawsuits - securing major victories along the way.
  • Grants
  • Health Care

King County, Baltimore & Healthy Teen Network v. Department of Health & Human Services

Successfully forced HHS to reinstate unlawfully terminated evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grants on behalf of localities and a non-profit organization

Learn more about this lawsuit
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Veterans

Paralyzed Veterans of America et al. v. Department of Transportation

Fighting the Administration's rollback of protections for disabled air travelers, on behalf of Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Learn more about this lawsuit
  • Civil Rights

Common Cause v. Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity

Successfully forced Trump Administration to dissolve unprecedented and unlawful investigation into the voting history of individual American voters.

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  • Forced the Trump administration to stop rerouting funds for teen pregnancy prevention to abstinence-only programs. Our victory, combined with those of other grantees who mounted similar challenges, means the entire $100 million federal program was saved for 2018.
  • Revealed the role former for-profit college executives played in Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s decision to roll back protections against predatory student loans after DeVos refused to answer Congressional questions. These executives got their way as millions of students were falsely promised good jobs and debt relief.
  • Forced the EPA to reinstate grant funding to the award-winning newspaper the Bay Journal. The grant was unlawfully rescinded by a political appointee unhappy with their coverage of President Trump’s environmental policies.
  • Helped shut down the Pence-Kobach voter fraud commission’s unprecedented and unlawful investigation into individual American voters. The administration was forced to destroy state voter data the Commission had unlawfully obtained.
  • Forced airlines to start reporting how often they damage wheelchairs on behalf of paralyzed veterans, after the Trump administration sought to help airlines avoid this responsibility. Partially as a result of our suit, airlines are now required to report damaged and lost wheelchairs and scooters, thereby allowing passengers with disabilities to make better informed travel decisions.
And we’re just getting started.
  • Immigration

Baltimore v. Trump

Defending immigrants and their families against the State Department's anti-immigrant public charge changes, in partnership with the City of Baltimore.

Learn more about this lawsuit
  • Health Care

Columbus et al. v. Trump

Fighting Trump’s attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act—and thereby make health insurance more inaccessible and expensive—on behalf of five cities.

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  • Civil Rights

Alabama v. Department of Commerce

Intervening to stop Alabama’s attempt to sabotage the Census by unconstitutionally excluding undocumented individuals from the Census count.

Learn more about this lawsuit

The cases we filed in 2018 have laid the groundwork for even more powerful action in 2019 to expose and fight corruption across the Trump administration.

Right now, we are fighting the Trump administration for:

  • Sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and making health insurance more inaccessible and expensive—on behalf of four cities. Trump’s unconstitutional sabotage has resulted in increased health premiums for millions of Americans and eliminated health care choices for families. 
  • Stealthily changing the State Department’s definition of “public charge” in an attempt to limit legal immigration to the United States. This change will hurt families and cities with large immigrant populations by wreaking havoc on public health and education programs.
  • Creating the International Wildlife Conservation Council, an illegal body designed to roll back limits on trophy hunting to the personal and financial benefit of its members. The council is comprised of Trump donors and friends.
  • Relying on Mar-a-Lago club members to make policy for millions of America’s veterans. Trump cronies with no government or U.S. military experience have been illegally empowered, under shroud of secrecy, to help run the VA.
  • Illegally using EPA agency resources for covert propaganda. In advance of an interview with then-Administrator Scott Pruitt, EPA staff coordinated with Fox News producers and approved a precise script, in violation of federal law.
  • Hiding FEMA’s inadequate preparation for and response to the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico. Even as President Trump dismissed the disaster as not a “real catastrophe,” thousands of Americans died without government assistance.