This case is roughly two years old, and has occupied a great deal of both the Parties’ and this Court’s time and attention. The legal question has always been whether Plaintiff’s challenge is frivolous or insubstantial. This Court found that, as regards the specific bequest of Raymond Groves Burrington, it is not. Nevertheless, the FEC now asks this Court to reverse itself, because it committed clear error in finding Plaintiff’s claim non-frivolous. The motion is without merit.
Under the law of the D.C. Circuit and this Court, a Rule 59(e) motion must meet a high burden. “A Rule 59(e) motion is discretionary and need not be granted unless the district court finds that there is an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Ciralsky v. CIA, 355 F.3d 661, 671 (D.C. Cir. 2004). A Rule 59(e) motion to reconsider is not “an opportunity to reargue facts and theories upon which a court has already ruled. The motion must address new evidence or errors of law or fact and cannot merely reargue previous factual and legal assertions.” Amoco Prod. Co. v. Fry, 908 F. Supp. 991, 993 (D.D.C. 1995) (emphasis supplied). Indeed, a district court may “grant a motion to reconsider only if the moving party can present new facts or clear errors of law that compel a change in the court’s prior ruling.” Id. (internal citations and quotations omitted) (emphasis supplied). Just last month, this Court noted that “[a]lthough somewhat broader [than a Rule 60(d)(3) motion for a court to set aside judgment for fraud on the court], motions to alter or amend under Rule 59(e) are similarly disfavored ‘and relief from judgment is granted only when the moving party establishes extraordinary circumstances.’”
You can find the FEC’s motion here.