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First Amendment Library:
Robert R. Sparks Jr.


[††]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).