EMILY's List v. FEC
In January 2005, EMILY’s List challenged multiple FEC regulations regarding use of federal “hard money” to pay for activities directed at both state and federal elections. Specifically, EMILY’s List challenged an FEC regulation requiring organizations with both a federal political committee and an affiliated 527 organization to use federal “hard money” (i.e., funds raised in compliance with federal contribution limits) to pay at least 50 percent of its costs related to both federal and non-federal elections (e.g., administrative expenses). EMILY’s List also challenged the FEC’s definition of “contribution” to include funds raised in response to solicitations that indicate that the money will be used “to support or oppose” the election of federal candidates. In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down three challenged FEC regulations, holding that they violated the First Amendment and exceeded the FEC’s authority.