September 28, 2016 •
Court Decision Concerning FEC Rule Limiting Disclosure for Certain Ads Stands
On September 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit let stand a previous decision upholding a Federal Election Commission (FEC) rule concerning contributor disclosure for certain political advertisements. Specifically, the court denied a petition for a rehearing en banc of a previous ruling.
In January, the appellate court had reversed a lower court ruling and rejected the challenge from Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) concerning the FEC rule about reporting of electioneering communications or advertisements picturing or naming candidates within 60 days of an election. In doing so, the federal appeals court upheld the FEC rule requiring public reporting only of donors who earmark contributions for the ads. Van Hollen and other campaign finance disclosure advocates argued the rule was too narrow and did not conform to a 2002 law prohibiting “soft money” in federal elections.
Fred Wertheimer, who backed Van Hollen’s lawsuit, said the ruling would not be appealed, according to Bloomberg BNA.
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