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  • FEC Record: Litigation

Republican Party of Louisiana v. FEC (District court 2015)

December 1, 2015

On November 25, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the plaintiffs'' application to convene a three-judge court to hear their constitutional challenges.

The plaintiffs—the Republican Party of Louisiana, the Jefferson Parish Republican Parish Executive Committee and the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee—contend that the restrictions on party committees using funds raised outside the limits imposed by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) to pay for federal election activity (FEA) unduly infringes on their First Amendment rights. (See our RECORD summary for details.)

Under a special judicial-review mechanism established by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), certain constitutional challenges to BCRA provisions must be heard by a three-judge court, whose decision may be appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

The district court determined that—unlike previous challenges that focused on the base contribution limits of FECA, which a BCRA three-judge court lacked the power to invalidate—the plaintiffs’ claims represent a substantial constitutional challenge and they have standing to pursue those claims in that forum. As result, the court granted their motion to convene a three-judge court.