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Day in Court: Next Step in Public Citizen v. FEC

July 28, 2016


Day in Court: Next Step in Public Citizen v. FEC

Court Should Direct FEC to Open an Investigation Into Crossroads GPS

WHAT: On Aug. 2, Public Citizen will appear in court for the next step in Public Citizen v. FEC. Public Citizen will ask the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to grant its request to declare that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was wrong when it failed to investigate Crossroads GPS for not registering as a political committee and to direct the FEC to open an investigation.

The case stems from a complaint (PDF) filed with the FEC in the fall of 2010, asking the FEC to investigate whether Crossroads GPS − the Karl Rove-linked political spending group formed to allow big donors to make secret campaign donations − was a political committee required to report its contributions and expenditures to the FEC.

Despite the FEC general counsel’s recommendation that the agency should proceed with an investigation of Crossroads GPS, the commission failed to take enforcement action because of a 3-3 deadlock vote among the commissioners. Public Citizen and three other plaintiffs then sued to have the FEC’s dismissal of their complaint declared unlawful.

The case was on hold for more than a year while Crossroads GPS sought to intervene. In February, after the court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that Crossroads GPS was entitled to intervene, Crossroads filed a brief supporting the FEC’s refusal to take action against it.

Attorneys at the Campaign Legal Center serve as co-counsel in the case.

Learn more about the case.

WHEN: 3 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Aug. 2

WHERE: Courtroom 18, 6th floor, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington D.C.

WHO: Scott Nelson, Public Citizen attorney for the plaintiffs