Friday, December 02, 2016

Oral arument transcript in Independence Istitute v FEC,
via Bob Bauer.
Some of the older case documents are here, http://www.campaignfreedom.org/litigation/current-litigation/independence-institute-v-fec/, if that's the same case, but I havent found the november 3 decision yet.
https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/3181490/independence-institute-v-fec/ is the March opinion.
http://www.fec.gov/pages/fecrecord/2016/december/indinstvfecdct.shtml Here is the FEC's summary of the decision.

I interviewed with I I a year ago spring, and am generally sympathetic with their policy choices, but I don't understand their litigation strategy in these disclosure cases. I think they've lost 3 of them now.
Maybe they are playing some really long game, trying to tee up one of these cases before the Supreme Court, and get it to rethink the whole Buckley v. Valeo framework of disclosure. Maybe they are simply confused between what they wish was the law, and what courts are actually going to agree with under current precedents.

The procedural issue back in March was whether, for a case this flimsy, there is a right to a 3 judge court. The DC circuit said there was. So now they got their day in court and lost on the merits, in an opinion I havent yet found online.

Justice Scalia was the foremost fan of disclosure on the court, and his absense will be reflected as cases of this sort get litigated. It remains to be seen who will replace him. Perhaps Mr. Trump will choose a movement conservative, as advised by his counsel McGahan, off his federalist society list, or perhaps he will choose a crony more willing to insulate elected officals from criticism. Too soon to tell.

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