On April 21, 2011, U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen filed suit against the Federal Election Commission in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging a Commission regulation that provides for the disclosure of donations given to fund electioneering communications. Representative Van Hollen claims that 11 CFR 104.20(c)(9), which requires the disclosure of donations of $1,000 or more to corporations (including nonprofits) or labor organizations when the donation “was made for the purpose of furthering electioneering communications,” is arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law.
The complaint states the regulation is inconsistent with the provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act it implements because “the regulation requires corporations, including non-profit corporations, to disclose only some contributors of $1,000 or more, i.e., donors who have manifested a particular state of mind or purpose.’” The complaint asserts that the challenged regulation contravenes 2 U.S.C. § 434(f)(2)(F) because the statute requires disclosure of “all contributors” of $1,000 or more to the corporation or labor organization when electioneering communications are not paid for with a segregated bank account.
Representative Van Hollen’s complaint asks the court to declare 11 CFR 104.20(c)(9) arbitrary, capricious and invalid. The plaintiff requests that the District Court remand this matter to the FEC for further action consistent with such a declaration and that the court retain jurisdiction over the matter to monitor the FEC’s compliance.
The full text of the court complaint is available at https://transition.fec.gov/law/litigation/van_hollen_van_hollen_complaint.pdf.
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Case 1:11-cv-00766-ABJ.