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  • FEC Record: Litigation

James v. FEC (Supreme Court)

April 15, 2014

On April 7, 2014, the Supreme Court vacated a district court judgment in James v. Federal Election Commission and remanded the case for further consideration in light of its decision in McCutcheon v. FEC.


In August 2012, Virginia James filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the Federal Election Campaign Act’s biennial limit on an individual’s total contributions to federal candidates. 2 U.S.C. § 441a(a)(3)(A). That limit was among those simultaneously before the court in McCutcheon v. FEC (D.D.C. Civ. No. 12-1034), which challenged the Act’s biennial limits on total contributions to candidates, party committees and PACs.

On September 28, 2012, the court rejected all of the McCutcheon plaintiffs’ claims and dismissed that lawsuit. Finding no basis to distinguish between the two cases, the court dismissed Ms. James’ suit on October 31, 2012.

Summary disposition

On April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court reversed the district court decision in McCutcheon, finding the aggregate contribution limits unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Consistent with that opinion, the Court then vacated the district court’s decision in James and ordered the district court to reconsider its opinion in light of McCutcheon.

U.S. Supreme Court No. 12-683.


  • Author 
    • Isaac Baker
    • Communications Specialist