On July 14, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (the court) denied the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21’s (plaintiffs) motion for reconsideration of an earlier decision declining their standing to sue on informational grounds, instead asking to sue based on organizational injuries.
On March 13, 2020, plaintiffs filed suit alleging the FEC failed to act on two administrative complaints filed in 2015 against Jeb Bush's presidential campaign and Right to Rise Super PAC due to lack of a quorum. Right to Rise intervened, moving to dismiss on the ground that the plaintiffs lacked standing. The court denied this motion in part, finding that plaintiffs had standing on the grounds of a possible informational injury.
Right to Rise moved to reconsider, and in December 2021, the court granted their motion on the grounds that supplemental information and briefing had demonstrated that the alleged lack of information had been disclosed. Because plaintiffs failed to identify further informational injury, the court found that they had not established standing. Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration, seeking a ruling on organizational standing, citing the Commission’s lack of action and failure to disclose documents in a MUR file that may have enabled them to view the Commission’s legal reasoning and further plaintiffs’ role as “regulatory watchdogs.”
An organizational injury must establish concrete and demonstrable injury to the organization's activities "constituting more than simply a setback to the organization's abstract social interests." The court noted that plaintiffs have not satisfied the organizational standing test because they did not demonstrate a drain on their resources resulting from a lack of access to documents that are required by statute to be kept confidential. The court concluded that plaintiffs “have therefore shown only a setback to their ‘abstract social interests,’ which is insufficient for Article III standing” and denied plaintiffs’ motion to reconsider.
- Campaign Legal Center v. FEC (20-730) litigation page