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First Amendment Library:
Charles N. Steele


The question in the case ultimately comes down to whether respondent National Right to Work Committee (NRWC or respondent) limited its solicitation of funds to "members" within the meaning of 2 U. S. C. § 441b(b)(4)(C).[1]In April 1977, petitioner Federal Election Commission (Commission)[2] determined that there was probable cause to *199 believe that NRWC had violated the above-cited provisions of the Act by soliciting contributions from persons who were not its "members." Shortly thereafter, respondent filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking injunctive and declaratory relief against the Commission. One month later, the Commission filed an enforcement proceeding against respondent in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to establish respondent's violation of 2 U. S. C. § 441b. The actions were consolidated in the latter court, which granted summary judgment in favor of the Commission on the basis of stipulated facts. 501 F. Supp. 422 (1980).[3] The judgment of the District Court was reversed by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 214 U. S. App. D. C. 215, 665 F. 2d 371 (1981), and we granted certiorari. 456 U. S. 914 (1982).


479 U.S. 238 (1986) FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION v. MASSACHUSETTS CITIZENS FOR LIFE, INC.     No. 85-701. Supreme Court of United States.    Argued October 7, 1986 Decided December 15, 1986 APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT*240 Charles N. Steele argued the cause for appellant. With him on the… Read more


[††]The Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act (Fund Act), 26 U. S. C. § 9001 et seq., offers the Presidential candidates of major political parties the option of receiving public financing for their general election campaigns. If a Presidential candidate elects public financing, § 9012(f) makes it a criminal offense for independent "political committees," such as appellees National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) and Fund For A Conservative Majority (FCM), to expend more than $1,000 to further that candidate's election. A three-judge District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in companion lawsuits brought respectively by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and by the Democratic Party of the United States and the Democratic National *483 Committee (DNC), held § 9012(f) unconstitutional on its face because it violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. These plaintiffs challenge that determination on this appeal, and the FEC also appeals from that part of the judgment holding that the Democratic Party and the DNC have standing under 26 U. S. C. § 9011(b)(1) to seek a declaratory judgment against appellees upholding the constitutionality of § 9012(f). We noted probable jurisdiction pursuant to the statutory appeal provision of § 9011(b)(2), which provides for a direct appeal to this Court from three-judge district courts convened in proceedings under § 9011(b)(1). 466 U. S. 935 (1984). We reverse the judgment of the District Court on the issue of the standing of the Democratic Party and the DNC, but affirm its judgment as to the constitutional validity of § 9012(f).