On October 4, 2012, the Commission filed a status report with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to inform the court of its decision not to initiate a rulemaking to amend its regulations governing the disclosure of electioneering communications, but instead to continue to defend the current regulation at 11 CFR 104.20(c)(9).
Previously, on March 30, 2012, the district court had held that the FEC’s regulations did not provide for adequate disclosure of funds received by corporations and labor unions making electioneering communications. On September 18, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed that decision, stating that the district court had erred in holding that Congress “spoke plainly” when it enacted 2 U.S.C. §434(f) of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.
The appeals court remanded the case with instructions to “refer the matter to the FEC for further consideration.” On September 20, 2012, the district court directed the Commission to inform the court by October 12, 2012, whether the Commission “intends to pursue rulemaking or defend its current regulation.” The Commission responded by filing its status report on October 4, 2012.
Subsequent to the Commission filing its status report, the Center for Individual Freedom (“CFIF”), an intervenor-defendant in the case, filed a petition asking the Commission to conduct a “narrow rulemaking” to amend the regulation to address issues raised by the D.C. Circuit. On October 9, the district court ordered the parties to notify the court of any decision by the FEC on CFIF’s petition.
Van Hollen v. FEC litigation page