FEC Announces Rulemaking Schedule to Address Court Rulings

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) released a proposed rulemaking schedule to write new campaign finance regulations in response to multiple recent court decisions. The most predominant cases are the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in EMILY's List v. FEC.

Further, the schedule recognized that if the Solicitor General decides to not appeal the SpeechNow.org case to the Supreme Court, the FEC plans to incorporate the issues in that case into the EMILY's List rulemaking in July. A final vote would not begin until October, with new rules likely to be left unfinished before the 2010 general election.

Meanwhile, SpeechNow.org has recently filed a motion to put the ruling into effect immediately. If this motion was granted, the FEC may have to speed up its rulemaking schedule. SpeechNow.org would then be allowed to start raising an unlimited amount of money to support or oppose candidates in the upcoming primaries and the general election.

The FEC is also continuing a rulemaking responding to the 2008 decision in Shays v. FEC, which struck down coordination rules and other rules regarding "federal election activity." Just as Congress will have a hard time coming to any agreement regarding campaign finance issues, the FEC commissioners will also confront an uphill battle to reach consensus on any new rules.

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