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Satellite Business Systems v. FEC



On March 15, 1983, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted Satellite Business Systems' (SBS's) motion to dismiss, without prejudice, its suit against the FEC.

In its suit, filed in October 1982, SBS had claimed that the FEC had misconstrued section 441b(a) of the Act in an advisory opinion issued to SBS in March 1982. In that opinion (AO 1981-56), the Commission had stated that the Act barred SBS (a partnership of three corporations) from either establishing a separate segregated fund or making direct contributions for federal elections. SBS had asked the court to declare that:

  • The Commission's decision in AO 1981-56 was erroneous and that SBS should have been allowed to participate in federal elections; and
  • Section 441b(a), as construed by the Commission in AO 1981-56, had violated SBS's First and Fifth Amendment rights.

SBS and four of its managerial personnel filed the motion to dismiss on March 4, 1983, stating that SBS was "not now in a position to commit the additional personnel and financial resources that it currently appears would be necessary to litigate..." the suit. In asking the court to dismiss its suit without prejudice, SBS argued that the FEC would not "suffer plain legal prejudice other than the mere prospect of a second lawsuit."

Source:   FEC RecordMay 1983