On February 27, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in this case. Independence Institute had challenged the constitutionality of the electioneering communications disclosure provisions in federal campaign finance laws.
In September 2014, the Independence Institute filed suit contending that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act's (BCRA’s) disclosure requirements for electioneering communications are overbroad as applied to a proposed radio advertisement and violate the First Amendment because the advertisement represented "genuine issue advocacy." Plaintiffs also argued that BCRA's electioneering communications disclosure requirements could not constitutionally apply to advertisements financed by a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
On October 6, 2014, the district court found the plaintiff's challenge to be foreclosed by Supreme Court precedent, principally by Citizens United v. FEC, concluded that a three-judge court was not warranted, and dismissed the case in its entirety. After a panel of the Court of Appeals remanded the case and ordered a three-judge district court to be convened, the three-judge court rejected the plaintiff's challenge and granted the FEC's motion for summary judgment.
On November 10, 2016, the plaintiffs filed a direct appeal of the three-judge court’s decision with the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court order
The Supreme Court issued an order on February 27, 2017, that affirms the three-judge district court’s decision. The Supreme Court’s order leaves in place the BCRA’s electioneering communication disclosure provisions.