The son of an officer in the Bureau of Finance, Post Office Department, he graduated B.A. Wesleyan University in 1967 and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1970. He first worked for Ohio Bell in Cleveland, Ohio and later in the legal department for the American Electric Power Company before joining the Jones, Day law firm in Columbus, Ohio.
Arnebeck was a leader in the Ohio campaign for Ross Perot's failed 1992 presidential bid. Questioning the micromanagement of the campaign by Perot's staff in Houston, Arnebeck eventually challenged its legitimacy in a Washington press conference before the election  In 1996 Arnebeck ran for Congress as a Democrat against Wylie's successor, GOP Congresswoman Deborah Pryce. and once again lost by a large margin. Disturbed at what he perceived as the behind the scenes manipulation of the political system, he filed a suit and successfully challenged the Ohio Chamber of Commerce's financing of the campaign in 2000 to defeat Justice Alice Robie Resnick, a Democrat.
Arnebeck then sought to act as a legal watchdog during elections. The handling of the 2004 presidential election by the state administration prompted him to represent groups challenging the legitimacy of the state's vote count in a lawsuit, known as "Moss v. Bush" which was eventually dismissed by the court at the plaintiffs' request following the acceptance of Ohio's electoral votes by the U.S. House and Senate on January 6, 2005. However, some believe that scrutiny brought by the lawsuit led to the abandonment of what they claimed was ongoing voting machine fraud. Ohio's Secretary of State filed a motion for sanction against the plaintiffs, alleging that the claim in Moss v. Bush was meritless, did not meet the standards of evidence required by law, and was brought only for partisan political purposes. The court held that Arnebeck's allegations in the contest of the presidential election were "at best, highly improbable and potentially defamatory, inflammatory, and devoid of logic," but declined to impose sanctions on Arnebeck.
Since then, Arnebeck has focused on what he claims is the fraudulent use of electronic voting machines in elections, a main issue in the 2004 suit, as the major threat to American elections. When the former Bush campaign operative Michael Connell died in a 2008 light aircraft crash in Ohio after being deposed by Arnebeck in his on-going suits on the 2004 election, Arnebeck felt that Karl Rove and others in the Bush 2004 campaign might be linked to the crash. On 26 July 2016, Arnebeck posted an open letter to President Obama & Vice President Biden claiming that Karl Rove helped Hillary Clinton win the 2016 Democratic Primary through voting machine hacks, assassinations, and other election fraud tactics. As of August 4th, 2016, Arnebeck believes his current witnesses are at risk since he believes that at least two of his past witnesses, former state legislative candidate Beverly Campbell and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, were assassinated. In an interview, Arnbeck stated:
"I don’t have to prove [the assassinations], what I have to prove is the election stealing, which I can do. The reason it’s important to make people aware of the assassinations is that that is the cover-up. Another one of my witnesses, there was another attempt on her life. Now if I lose all my inside witnesses then I can’t prove my election case. And they know that, I know that, and one of the ways to protect my ability to prove the election stealing is to make the public aware of the assassination business so that perhaps there will be some protection. Having the FBI director as corrupt, he might as well be viewed as the conciliary of the global criminal cabal that’s behind all this stuff. So here’s the guy who’s supposed to be investigating the crime and he’s part of the crime, he’s an actor in the crime, he has a real conflict of interest. And the attorney general has a real conflict of interest, and the President has a gun to his head in effect. So, I don’t know what to say, you talk about assassinations you get labeled a conspiracy theorist, but if I don’t talk about assassinations then they just keep doing it, keep getting away with it, and the cover-up goes on. That is the key to the cover-up: no potential witnesses where they could testify."
In a 25 July 2016 letter to Vice President Joe Biden, Arnebeck suggested that Biden's son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015 after many years of treatment, was assassinated.
- American Dream Radio: Cliff Arnebeck, lead counsel for the voters' lawsuit in Ohio which seeks to reverse the election outcome because of widespread voting irregularities. He explains about the lawsuit (as opposed to the recount), discusses some of the voter suppression tactics used, and talks about the expected course of the legal wrangling. 19 Dec. 2004 at 9:25 a.m.(audio)
- Pacifica Radio: Cliff Arnebeck claims how the Ohio vote was rigged (audio)
- C-SPAN video: Cliff Arnebeck, National Co-Chairman for the Alliance for Democracy and counsel in a lawsuit challenging the presidential election in Ohio, discusses the legal challenges to the 2004 vote in Ohio. 12/2/2004: WASHINGTON, DC: 30 min. (video, rm)
- "Profile of Clifford Arneback". Thefreespeechzone.net. 11 October 1996. Retrieved 13 May 2010. (Note: Attributed to AP Political Service, 11 October 1996, appears to be a direct cut & paste with formatting lost)
- Letter to Clifford O. Arnebeck 18 May 1954, at US Government Accountability Office
- Special News Broadcast recorded from ABC Evening News for Thursday, Oct 29, 1992 at Vanderbilt University Television News Archive
- Fintan Dunne: Ohio Judge Denies Knowing Of Presidential Election Fraud Plot Archived 3 January 2005 at the Wayback Machine at BreakForNews.com, 30 December 2004
- Moss v. Bush
- Dubose, Lou (1 January 2013). "Did An Election Day Lawsuit Stop Karl Rove's Vote-Rigging Scheme In Ohio?". Hamilton Fish. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Sanctions motion at Supreme Court of Ohio, 18 January 2005
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Cliff Arnebeck On Mike Connell in Mark Crispin Miller's Blog, 20 January 2009
- Cliff Arnebeck's Open Letter to the President about 2016 Democratic Primary Election Fraud and Assassinations, 26 July 2016
- Exclusive Interview With Ohio Election Fraud Lawyer Cliff Arnebeck, 4 August 2016