The Institute for Free Speech filed an amicus brief in this case to apprise the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia of reasons why Plaintiff Campaign Legal Center’s motion for a default judgment should not be granted at this time. While the Federal Election Commission has failed to respond to the court’s show cause order of May 14, 2020, that is only because it is blocked from participating in this litigation by an act of Congress and inaction by the political branches. None of these causes was within the FEC’s control.
However, with the confirmation of a new commissioner, the FEC’s quorum has been restored and its legal paralysis resolved. The Commission should be given a reasonable amount of time to get its affairs in order and respond to Campaign Legal Center’s suit. That is especially true where the underlying lawsuit poses a distinct threat to the statutory role Congress envisioned for the Commission, the underlying merits of the lawsuit implicate the First Amendment rights of third parties, and there are reasons to doubt Plaintiff’s Article III standing.