The federal appeals court in Washington will quickly review whether to keep secret the identity of “John Doe” plaintiffs trying to prevent the Federal Election Commission from revealing their role in campaign spending.
Briefing in the case, known as John Doe v. FEC, is set to be completed by July 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered. The order followed a motion
for expedited consideration from FEC lawyers, who said “the commission and the public have an unusual interest in expedited review” of the disclosure issues involved in the case.
One of the secret plaintiffs, known as John Doe 2, “was the undisputed source of the contribution at issue,” according to the FEC’s motion to speed up the case. The plaintiffs funneled $1.7 million to a super-political action committee through a well-known nonprofit, the American Conservative Union, which was falsely reported as the source of the contribution.
The super-PAC, called Now or Never PAC, spent more than $8 million, mostly on TV ads, opposing Democrats in the 2012 and 2014 elections.