CREW filed an amicus brief supporting Representative Ted Lieu et. al. in their case against the FEC urging en banc review by the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. CREW argued that the DC Circuit erred in SpeechNow.Org v. FEC when it created super PACs–political groups that can accept unlimited contributions, and that the full Court should reconsider that decision. CREW stated that experience has disproven SpeechNow‘s assumption that contributions to super PACs, no matter how big, could never corrupt–in fact, explicit quid-pro-quo corruption stemming from super PAC contributions has led to criminal prosecutions. CREW also stated that SpeechNow’s assumption that super PAC contributions would be transparent has also proven false: huge sums flow into elections from unknown sources, potentially even from outside the United States.
The FEC estimates that political committees, which includes super PACs, spent more in the 2016 cycle than all political parties, and spent more than all federal candidates. The importance of limiting outside political spending cannot be overstated.