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First Amendment Library:
Richard H. Mansfield III


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).