RNC (Cao) v. FEC: Plaintiff’s brief in opposition to Defendant FEC's motion for summary judgment
Plaintiff’s brief in opposition to Defendant FEC's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff argues that this as-applied challenge is neither decided nor precluded by the facial upholding of the Federal Funds Restriction in McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003) (Pls.’ Mem. at 18-27; Pls.’ Op. to FEC Mot. to Dis. at 5-20); campaign finance laws may only regulate speech that is unambiguously campaign related (Pls.’ Mem. at 7-18; Pls.’ Reply Mem. at 1-10); Plaintiffs’ intended activities are not unambiguously campaign related, and furthermore, as-applied to Plaintiffs’ intended activities the Federal Funds Restriction is not narrowly tailored or closely drawn to any compelling or important government interest in preventing corruption or its appearance (Pls.’ Mem. at 30-45; Pls.’ Reply Mem. at 10-25); Plaintiffs’ intended activities do not directly benefit any federal candidate or officeholder (Pls.’ Mem. at 30-45; Pls.’ Reply Mem. at 12-18); for any gratitude on the part of federal candidates or officeholders to give rise to corruption or its appearance, the candidates or officeholders must receive a direct benefit, which here they do not (Pls.’ Reply Mem. at 21-24; Pls.’ Mem. at 24-27); to the extent McConnell found that contributions to national political parties were “suspect,” irrespective of their end use, it premised this conclusion on the historical practice of national parties to provide large donors of non-federal funds with preferential access to federal candidates and officeholders (Pls.’ Mem. at 21- 24; Pls.’ Reply Mem. at 18-21); the RNC will not provide donors of non-federal funds or state funds with preferential access to any federal candidate or officeholder and will not involve federal candidates or officeholders in the solicitation of such funds (Pls.’ Mem. at 21-23; Pls.’ Reply Mem. at 18-21); and Plaintiffs’ intended activities are too far removed from federal candidates and federal elections to be regulated.