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For Immediate Release                                                                               Contact: Bob Biersack
August 20, 2007                                                                                                       George Smaragdis
                                                                                                                              Michelle Ryan

DISTRICT COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF FEC

WASHINGTON – On August 15, 2007 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in favor of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Department of Justice in a case brought by Geoffrey N. Fieger, Nancy Fisher, and Fieger, Fieger, Kenney and Johnson PC. 

In their complaint the Plaintiffs argued that a pending grand jury investigation was unlawful because the Commission is the sole body with jurisdiction to enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act until the Commission makes a referral to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

In his decision Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff agreed with the Commission and the Department of Justice that the statute provides the Commission with sole jurisdiction for civil enforcement of the Act but does not infringe on the Attorney General’s power to enforce criminal violations of the Act at any time.

Judge Zatkoff also denied Plaintiffs' request that the Commission be ordered to proceed with a particular investigation, affirming that federal Courts have limited authority to review the Commission’s handling of administrative complaints.

The Commission was represented in the litigation by FEC attorneys Colleen Sealander, Ben Streeter and Greg Mueller.

The District Court decision is available 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, 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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