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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Judith Ingram

October 22, 2009

Julia Queen

  Christian Hilland

FEC Will Not Seek Rehearing En Banc in EMILY’s List Case

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission will not seek rehearing en banc in EMILY’s List v. FEC.

On September 18, a panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the three challenged FEC regulations “exceed the FEC’s statutory authority.”  Two of the three judges also concluded that these regulations “violate the First Amendment.”

The Court of Appeals directed the district court to vacate the following regulations:

  • 11 C.F.R. 106.6(c), which requires nonconnected political committees to use at least half  federal funds (“hard” money) to pay for administrative expenses, generic voter drives, and public communications that refer to a political party but no clearly identified candidates;
  • 11 C.F.R. 106.6(f), which requires nonconnected political committees to use federal funds to finance voter drives and public communications that refer to one or more clearly identified federal candidates, but do not refer to any clearly identified nonfederal candidates, and requires  such activities that refer to both federal and nonfederal candidates  be financed with a proportionate mix of federal and non-federal (“soft” money) funds; and
  • 11 C.F.R. 100.57, which states that if a solicitation indicates that any funds received will be used to support the election of a clearly identified federal candidate, those funds must be treated as contributions, but if such a solicitation also refers to a nonfederal candidate, half the funds received must be treated as contributions.

The Commission will issue guidance to political committees in the near future.

Commissioners’ statements can be found here.

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 of Representatives, 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.

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