March 26, 2010

More Breaking News: RNC Loses in RNC v. FEC Soft Money Challenge

The unanimous opinion of the three-judge court is here. The judges (written by Judge Kavanaugh, who wrote the Emily's List case) that the RNC's claims are barred by the Supreme Court's opinion in McConnell, which as a lower court the three-judge court must follow. On page 15, the Court writes:

    In due course, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to clarify or refine this aspect of McConnell as the Court sees fit, and to consider the RNC's challenge to ยง 323(a) in light of the RNC's pledge to no longer grant preferential access to soft money contributors. As a lower court, however, we do not believe we possess authority to clarify or refine McConnell in the fashion advocated by the RNC, or to otherwise get ahead of the Supreme Court.

Regular readers of this blog will remember that Ted Olson has been tapped to appeal this case to the Supreme Court. A leaked RNC strategy memo shows that this might be done on an expedited basis, maybe even before the end of this term, to affect November's elections.

Posted by Rick Hasen at March 26, 2010 09:24 AM