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Miller v. FEC (89-0094)


On June 29, 1989, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in Harry P. Miller, Jr. v. FEC (Civil Action No. 89-0094).

Mr. Miller filed suit in January 1989 claiming that the Commission had acted contrary to law in dismissing an administrative complaint that he had filed the previous October against Bush-Quayle 88, the 1988 Republican Presidential general election campaign committee. The complaint had alleged that several Texas state officials had conducted fraudulent activities on behalf of the Bush-Quayle campaign. Informed of the charges by the Commission, the respondents denied any knowledge of the alleged violations. The Commission subsequently voted to find "no reason to believe" that the violations alleged by Mr. Miller had occurred and dismissed the matter.

Finding that the Commission's dismissal of Mr. Miller's complaint was reasonable, the court said that the plaintiff failed to show that the FEC had before it any evidence of illegal activity. The court concluded, "Considering the unfocused allegations...and respondents' reply [indicating no knowledge of criminal activity], the FEC's decision to dismiss Mr. Miller's complaint was clearly not 'contrary to law.'"

On April 25, 1990, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the FEC's motion for summary affirmance of the district court's decision in favor of the FEC. (Civil Action No. 89-5394.)

For the reasons stated in the district court opinion, the appeals court granted the FEC's motion for summary affirmance of the lower court decision, stating: "The merits of the parties' positions are so clear as to justify summary action."

Source:   FEC RecordOctober 1990; September 1989. Miller v. FEC, No. 89-0094. (D.D.C. 1989) (memorandum opinion), aff'd mem., 923 F.2d 201 (Table) (D.C. Cir. 1990) (unpublished disposition).