We’ve passed the first hurdle in Lieu v. Federal Election Commission, the case that could end super PACs. Earlier today, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the FEC’s attempts to defeat the case on procedural grounds.
As background, our original November 4, 2016 federal court complaint, on behalf of a bipartisan group of members of (and candidates for) Congress, including Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), challenged the FEC for delay in processing our June 2016 administrative complaint against super PACs. While that complaint was pending, the FEC went ahead and resolved our June 2016 administrative complaint (by dismissing it).
In June 2017, we filed an amended complaint. Instead of challenging the FEC’s inaction, we would now be challenging the FEC’s dismissal of the administrative complaint.
But the FEC argued that we should not be allowed to amend our complaint because it would be “futile.” We replied that instead the court should first let us amend the complaint, then consider an FEC motion to dismiss the amended complaint.
Today, the court agreed with us. Judge Sullivan issuing an order granting our motion to file an amended complaint, and denying the FEC’s motion to dismiss the original complaint.
Today’s ruling is just one step on a long path to the U.S. Supreme Court. But we are pleased with this favorable ruling and look forward to presenting to the court the fundamental question of whether the U.S. Constitution requires mega-donors to be allowed to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to their favored candidates’ super PACs.
For more information on this case, including further developments, see our case page.