On January 9, 2012, the Supreme Court summarily affirmed the judgment of the three-judge district court in the District of Columbia in Bluman v. FEC, which had granted the FEC’s motion to dismiss and denied Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. The Plaintiffs, Benjamin Bluman and Asenath Steiman, both of whom are foreign nationals who lawfully live and work in the United States, had challenged the constitutionality of the prohibition on foreign nationals making contributions or expenditures in connection with U.S. elections.
Federal law and Commission regulations prohibit foreign nationals who have not gained permanent resident status in the United States from “directly or indirectly” making “a contribution or donation of money or any other thing of value…in connection with a federal, state or local election.” Such persons are also prohibited from making “a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party,“ and from making a disbursement for independent expenditures or electioneering communications. 11 CFR 110.20.
The District Court had dismissed Plaintiffs’ challenge to the constitutionality of the foreign national ban and Plaintiffs appealed that judgment to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court summarily affirmed the judgment of the District Court.