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  • FEC Record: Litigation

The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. FEC and U.S. Department of Justice

October 1, 2008

On September 11, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied The Real Truth About Obama, Inc.’s (RTAO’s/ the plaintiff’s) motion for a preliminary injunction against the Federal Election Commission.

In July 2008, RTAO, a nonprofit “527” corporation, filed a complaint challenging the constitutionality of three Commission regulations and an FEC “enforcement policy.” According to the court’s order denying the injunction, RTAO is unlikely to succeed on the merits of the claims that the challenged provisions are unconstitutional. The court determined that granting the injunction would cause greater harm to the government than to RTAO, and that it would “negatively impact the public.”


RTAO alleges that certain Commission regulations are overbroad and void for vagueness, in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments. The plaintiff further alleges that the provisions in question exceed the FEC’s statutory authority and have a chilling effect on their speech. The challenged regulations relate to express advocacy, whether funds received in response to solicitations are contributions and the Commission’s implementation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Wisconsin Right to Life with regard to electioneering communications. RTAO also challenges the Commission’s “enforcement policy” on political committee status. The suit was filed against the FEC and the United States Department of Justice, the entity charged with criminal enforcement of the federal laws at issue. The plaintiff seeks a declaration that the challenged regulations and “enforcement policy” are void. See the September 2008 Record.

  • Author 
    • Michelle Ryan