For Immediate Release Contact: Bob Biersack
July 19, 2007 George Smaragdis
COMMISSION TO CONDUCT RULEMAKING FOLLOWING SUPREME COURT RULING
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission (FEC/Commission) announced today that it will undertake a rulemaking to incorporate the Supreme Court decision in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC into the Commission’s regulations. The Court determined that Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. was entitled to an exemption from restrictions on broadcast advertising contained in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. The law imposed funding restrictions on ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of primaries and 60 days of general elections (electioneering communications). The Court found that the ads in question advocated issue positions and not the election or defeat of candidates to whom they made reference.
“The FEC intends to make clear how we are interpreting this exemption before mid-December, when the electioneering communication timeframes for the 2008 campaign will begin.” said FEC Chairman Robert Lenhard. “We believe it is critical to have a clear rule in place in time for the Presidential primaries and caucuses in early 2008.”
The Commission intends to prepare a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in August suggesting the scope of the proposed regulations and seeking comment on alternatives. Comments on the proposals would be due in September with a public hearing on the rulemaking in October. This would permit the Commission to vote on a final rule by the end of November of this year.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.