A federal judge today struck down a Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulation expanding liability for contributions made through straw donors.
U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson ruled that the FEC “exceed[ed] its authority to write regulations and improperly intrud[ed] into the realm of law making that is the exclusive province of Congress.” The ruling also effectively ends the FEC’s litigation against former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.
“The Federal Election Commission’s brazen attempt to supplant Congress was rightly rejected by the court. Unelected commissioners cannot act outside of the law to punish conduct they deem inappropriate. Today’s ruling is a victory for separation of powers and secures the rights of all Americans to discuss and participate in campaign fundraising,” said Institute for Free Speech Legal Director Allen Dickerson.
The FEC alleged that Swallow aided Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson, another defendant in the case, to make illegal contributions through straw donors. But there was no evidence that Swallow made illegal contributions or provided funds for straw contributions by others….