Given substantial prior experience holding dark money groups accountable, CREW has filed an amicus curiae brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the reversal of a lower court’s decision to throw out End Citizens United PAC’s FEC complaint against Rick Scott who allegedly broke campaign finance law when he ran his super PAC from 2017-2018 while he was a candidate for office.
The original dismissal of ECU’s case resulted from the FEC deadlocking along partisan lines, which has unfortunately become the modus operandi for the Commission. ECU then sought to challenge the dismissal in court—as federal law permits—but the District Court refused to even review the FEC’s dismissal, in part because three Republican Commissioners mentioned “prosecutorial discretion” and because the District Court referenced a set of controversial decisions that since their inception have blocked enforcement of campaign finance laws.
CREW’s amicus discusses at length why the pair of decisions conflicts with prior case law and with decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that permit reviewing dismissals against those who break campaign finance laws. The decisions raise serious constitutional law, administrative law and separation of powers problems. CREW urges the D.C. Circuit to recognize the conflict and clarify that courts may not rely on the pair of cases, but are rather bound by earlier and higher precedent that recognizes Congress’s plan that empowers Americans to protect themselves from dark money.