Federal Court Follows Institute for Free Speech’s Advice in CLC v. FEC

June 11, 2020   •  By Tyler Martinez   •    •  

Last week, we detailed why we filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the FEC in Campaign Legal Center v. Federal Election Commission. We informed the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the FEC lacked a quorum at the time CLC filed its complaint and motion for default judgment and that a new commissioner had just been confirmed by the Senate, allowing the Commission to defend itself.

On June 3, 2020, the court entered an order recognizing the facts highlighted in the Institute’s brief. The court stayed the default judgment motion “in light of the fact that the Federal Election Commission lacked a quorum at the time the plaintiff’s motion was filed.” The federal court gave the FEC until July 20th to reply to the show cause order.

We hope the FEC takes the opportunity. Days after our brief was filed, James E. “Trey” Trainor III took office, restoring the Commission’s quorum. The rule of law prevailed, and the process Congress created can work as designed.

Since the order was paperless and only available behind the paywall of PACER, we reproduce the full order below:

MINUTE ORDER (paperless) STAYING the plaintiff’s 12 Motion for Default Judgment Against Defendant Federal Election Commission (“Pl.’s Mot.”), in light of the fact that the Federal Election Commission lacked a quorum at the time the plaintiff’s motion was filed, see Pl.’s Mot. at 3-4; and EXTENDING the defendant’s deadline to respond to the Court’s May 14, 2020 Order to Show Cause until July 20, 2020. Signed by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell on June 3, 2020. (lcbah3) (Entered: 06/03/2020)

Tyler Martinez

Tyler Martinez

https://www.ifs.org/author/tmartinez/

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