SHORT SUMMARY:

PRIOR COURT DECISIONS SUPPORTING OUR CHALLENGE TO THE FEC FOR FAIR FUNDING FOR INDEPENDENTS & ALTERNATIVE CANDIDATES

For a full discussion of these powerful precedents, see the brief below.

Our attorneys Oliver Hall and Harry Kresky have identified several court precedents supporting our contention that a key statue governing the FEC’s matching fund program, (26 U.S.C. § 9032(6)), inherently discriminates against alternative parties, and is unconstitutional. In one of these precedents, the court establishes that a public financing system violates the Fifth Amendment guarantee of equal protection if it “unfairly or unnecessarily burden[s] the political opportunity of any party or candidate.”[i]

In another precedent, the court argues, based on First Amendment (freedom of speech) principles, that “campaign funds are often essential if ‘advocacy’ [of beliefs and ideas] is to be truly or optimally ‘effective’ ” especially as applied to “a candidate [who] either lacks national prominence or belongs to a minor party outside the mainstream of American politics.” It is therefore “particularly important to ensure that the Commission is applying the eligibility criteria for primary matching funds in an even-handed manner.”[ii]  

Other precedents more generally underscore the importance of including political alternatives. One of these makes explicit that we have a “national commitment to open and robust discussion of all political viewpoints” [iii] And finally, both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals have warned against giving “an unfair advantage to established parties, thus reducing, to the nation’s detriment … the potential fluidity of American political life.” [iv]

With your help we are putting these precedents to work in court, to advocate for equitable funding for independent and alternative party candidates!


[i] (Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 96 (1976)).  

[ii] Com. to Elect Lyndon LaRouche v. FEC, 613 F.2d 834, 844 (D.C. Cir. 1979) (quoting Buckley, 424 U.S. at 65-66).

[iii] New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964), cited in Com. to Elect Lyndon LaRouche v. FEC, 613 F.2d 834, 844 (D.C. Cir. 1979) (quoting Buckley, 424 U.S. at 65-66).

[iv] Buckley, 424 U.S. at 96-97

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