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Boulter v. FEC


On August 3, 1988, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the FEC's July 26 decision to certify public funds for the general election campaign of Democratic Presidential nominee Michael S. Dukakis and his Vice Presidential running mate Lloyd M. Bentsen.

The petitioners, Congressman Beau Boulter, the Republican Senatorial candidate from Texas, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a national committee of the Republican party, had submitted their petition to the appeals court after the FEC had dismissed their request to deny public funding to the Democratic Presidential ticket. In its expedited review of the petition, the court decided to dismiss as moot the petitioners' emergency motion for a stay of the certification because, on July 27, the U.S. Treasury had disbursed the public funds to the Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. Nor did the court grant petitioners' request for an emergency injunction barring the Democratic ticket from expending the grant. The court held that "petitioners have failed to carry the 'burden of showing that exercise of the court's extraordinary injunctive powers is warranted.'" Cuomo v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 722 F.2d 972, 974 (D.C. Cir. 1985).

Finally, the court summarily affirmed the agency's certification of funds to the Democratic ticket. The appeals court noted that its standard for reviewing the FEC's decision was whether the FEC's action was "arbitrary, capricious or contrary to law." See In re Carter-Mondale, 642 F.2d at 542. Based on this standard, the court concluded that "petitioners' allegations are insufficient on their face to warrant a revocation of the certification."

Source: FEC RecordSeptember 1988. Boulter v. FEC, No. 88-1541 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (unpublished order).