EMILY’s List v. Federal Election Commission

In EMILY’s List v. FEC (D.C. Cir., 2009), EMILY’s List challenges the Federal Election Commission’s regulations regarding the use of federal “hard money” to pay for activities directed at both state and federal elections. Specifically, the group contested an FEC regulation that required groups with both a federal political committee and an affiliated 527 organization (a tax-exempt organization with the primary purpose of influencing the nomination, appointment, or election of candidates) to use federal “hard money.” The Court of Appeals strikes down three of the challenged FEC regulations, holding that they violated the First Amendment and exceeded the FEC’s authority.