Liberarian Party

Libertarian Party Suit Against FEC For Restrictions on How it Can Spend Its Donations to Proceed

District Judge Beryl Howell thinks the L.P.'s claim that the restrictions are "content based" and possibly illegitimate at least deserve day in court.


The Libertarian Party's National Committee (LNC) is suing the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) over aspects of the Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA) that they say unjustly and unconstitutionally prohibit it from using contributions over a certain limit for the purposes they want to use them. The LNC believes this amounts to an illegitimate "content-based restriction" on its political speech.

Libertarian Party

This week Judge Beryl A. Howell of U.S. District Court in D.C. allowed the suit to go forward, rejecting an FEC attempt to get the suit thrown out on the grounds that the LNC lacks proper legal standing to challenge their regulation.

The background: As it now stands, FECA allows single entities to donate to political parties up to $334,000, so long as that money is used only on these three purposes: running its presidential nominating convention, spending on its headquarters, and helping with election challenges or recounts.

Such money must legally be segregated from contributions available for other Party expenses. (The legal contribution total for other money is currently $33,400.)

The LNC received a bequest from deceased member Joseph Shaber in 2014 of $235,575.20.

The money is in a trust and is being dribbled out to the Party $33,400 per year in obedience to that legal limit.

The Party thinks they shouldn't have to do this. To quote from a Memorandum Opinion issued this week from Judge Howell:

The LNC's complaint alleges in three counts that application of the…contribution limits to the Shaber bequest "violates the First Amendment speech and associational rights of the LNC and its supporters,"…and that the segregated accounts scheme, which allows parties to accept larger donations for three specified purposes only, amounts to a content-based restriction on speech, both on its face and as applied to the Shaber bequest

The FEC tried to argue that since the LNC could take all of Shaber's money at once as long as it segregated it according to law, they are in fact injuring themselves. And the FEC further tried to insist that to the extent that the LNC is allegedly injured by lack of ability to use the donation as they see fit, that "actors in the political marketplace, not FECA, caused LNC's claimed competitive disadvantage, and that a favorable decision from this Court is not likely to redress the claimed injury."

Judge Howell found both arguments wanting. The LNC is arguing more specifically that the inability to take the money and use it for purposes of its own choice, not an inability to take the money at all, is the injury. Howell agrees that is a legal issue worth consideration and that the LNC is indeed asserting a legitimate possible injury from FEC's policies.

Howell further says that the FEC's attempt to categorize the injury as merely being about the L.P.'s "competitive disadvantage" is not an accurate summation of why they are claiming injury.

Howell's conclusion:

The LNC has standing to challenge FECA provisions that restricted immediate access to the full amount of a bequest for expressive activities. That the LNC could accept the entire bequest by depositing the funds into segregated accounts does not alter this analysis because the LNC alleges that it wishes to use the funds for expressive activities. Accordingly, the FEC's motion to dismiss is denied.

The LNC's lawsuit against the FEC will indeed have its future day in court.

Bloomberg BNA has a nice summation of what's at issue in the suit.

NEXT: Report on Russian Involvement in U.S. Election Primarily about RT Network

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  1. Take Note?

  2. Libertarians need more naked dancing fat guys. Maybe if we have a naked dancing fat guy parade, awareness will increase? I seriously recommend this strategy over nominating Bill Weld again.

    1. No. We need Weld because he’s appealing to people that aren’t full-libertarians. We need to grow the tent!

      1. Don’t you have an email to click on?

        1. Locked myself out, I think. The nice IT guy needed the password earlier. I think he reset it for me. Not sure why we outsourced our IT work to Nigeria…

          1. They don’t even pay 15 an hour!!

            1. Well, somehow one of them left me 7.3 million pounds sterling? Must’ve been royalty or something…

      2. Jessie Ventura would have been better.

      3. The obvious compromise is Naked Dancing Weld!

    2. I’d vote for Satan before Weld again. Stupid naked fat guy would be a plus.

      1. I’d vote for Satan before Weld again.

        I warned you cosmos you were selling your liberty-loving souls. The 2016 LP ticket was why I was proud to cast my vote, along with 1109 fellow Georgians, for Darrell Castle. Principles, not principals.

    3. Libertarians need more naked dancing fat guys.

      I agree.

      1. Nice trans cow.

    4. Led by a dude with a boot on his head? I think you are right Hyp, we can sweep the midterms.

  3. The perfect metaphor for the outgoing Obama administration. Corey and Trevor:

    1. “Trevor and Corey are stupid as fuck. I’ve met cats and dogs smarter than Trevor and Corey. I mean, most cats and dogs are smarter than Trevor and Corey.”

      Yes. Yes it is. I cant wait for someone to put together a collection of the Lightbringer’s herpity derp. I have quoted him a few times and had people deny that he said those things. Just in the last two weeks I quoted his “You didn’t build that” to a guy who spent a few years building a successful business from the ground up (and an Obama voter). At first he didn’t believe me, then I showed him the video. The look on his face was priceless. It went from stunned disbelief to confusion then to anger. I doubt he will ever vote D again.

  4. And the FEC further tried to insist that to the extent that the LNC is allegedly injured by lack of ability to use the donation as they see fit, that “actors in the political marketplace, not FECA, caused LNC’s claimed competitive disadvantage, and that a favorable decision from this Court is not likely to redress the claimed injury.”

    After the release of the super secret evidence of Russian hacking, I assume the FEC will now claim that there is no way the LNC could have a, “competitive disadvantage” because RT gave voice to the Libertarian candidate by allowing participation in a debate. Word on the street is RT is the most politically influential news outlet on the interwebs, and stole the presidency from Hillary.

    Fuck the FEC. I thought it was established that money=speech.

  5. The purpose of the FEC is to impede and harass any potential challenge to the Ruling Party in any way that they think they can get away with.


    1. +1 boot stamping on a human face forever

  6. Could somebody explain this case in (North American) English, please?

    1. Certainly.

      “sum bichez aint rilly got ASS dey jus got muscle dat damn near flat. & its mind bogglin how many butterfaces dey got. da fukt up brows on alotta em is part of y dey look like a hot mess. & so much wite bich hair. ughhhh i hate it. & not a single nude shot. im tryna c sum nipples & i needa peep dat bush. aint wit no bald shit feel me.”

      Got it?

      1. I think elderly white women who speak jive are in short supply around these parts.

        1. It be fo real, cracka.

  7. RT seems to have mellowed out Ed Schultz a bit. This interview with MacAfee was excellent. Couldn’t bring up these points in Wapo or The NYT? Sorry LP, instead of going with an interesting and intelligent lunatic like MacAfee, you chose a bumbling clown.

    1. I’m not even sure McAfee is a lunatic. The dude’s past and present are both so mysterious that… who knows? Maybe he had to kill a man in Belize. Maybe he really is being followed?

      The weight of the evidence points toward the “eccentric genius” type, but who knows?

      1. This reads like it was written by a man that may sound crazy but actually knows what he’s talking about.

        1. Smile and, if possible, joke. Say something like: “I’d like to stay and chat but I’m in a hurry to meet a girl. Her husband will be back soon.”

          His advice sounds reasonable, but saying that to a cop as you drive off while ignoring orders would take giant balls.

      2. The gun at the head stuff and the coked up YouTube videos are what I’m talking about. I’d have actually voted this time if he had gotten the nod. I realize this is his in his wheelhouse, but he nailed it in that interview with Ed.

        1. Agreed. Johnson/Weld was not a good choice. McAfee mixed spectacle with some intellectual depth and genuineness. If you want to grow the brand, that’s how you do it.

          1. Hindsight and all that, but what a colossal opportunity was missed. *Writes “McAfee” ten times on blackboard.

            1. Except that it wasn’t hindsight. Many here were bitching about what a crappy candidate Johnson was and then even more when he forced Masshole RINO Not-A-Libertarian Weld. The only silver lining is that the other other L contender, the one who escaped from his parents basement, didn’t get the nomination.

          2. Jesse Ventura for VP would have been better.

            1. I’m still pimpin’ for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

              That guy would be the killer candidate for the LP. He checks all the boxes, is quick on his feet and has crossover appeal to all age groups and demographics.

              The only downsides are:

              a) not into politics.
              b) not a libertarian (as far as I know)

              So, someone needs to go coach him up on libertarian politics. And then coach him up on national policy issues.

              I’m sure getting him to set aside his tens-of-millions per movie career in order to study libertarian political philosophy won’t be a problem….

  8. Nobody needs more than three reasons to throw $334k at a lost cause.

    /old man shaking fist at speech

  9. Spot the Not: Robby Soave

    1. To be sure, that’s an oversimplification of what BLM is doing.

    2. Surely, there’s no place less likely to become the site of an impromptu Trump rally than a college campus.

    3. To be sure, there are good reasons for students to be dismayed by Trump’s victory.

    4. To be sure, there are a lot of specifics about Trump’s personal character and policy agenda that make his win troubling in its own right.

    5. It’s not the most diverse line up, to be sure, but it’s the one that best reflects history the way it actually happened.

    6. To be sure, there are extremist groups among social conservatives as well.

    1. 5. Robbo is too much of prog sympathizer to put history before diversity.

    2. To be sure, Robby X spews some grade-A derp.

    3. 6. He wouldn’t qualify that particular statement, I think.

      1. yeah, that seems like the one that would be a flat fact in his pieces. Or perhaps it would be a flipped qualifier about the left.

    4. 6 is the Not. Score one for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Robby Soave (me).

    5. 6. If it’s not 6, using the term ‘extremist groups’ is moronic in that context.

  10. One of the simplest ways to measure employment is to look at the rate of job growth during a presidency. Here, the math is straightforward. With one month to go, the number of payroll jobs in the United States is up 8.4 percent since Obama took office. Of the last three two-term presidents, that falls considerably short of the levels reached by Presidents Reagan (17.7 percent) and Clinton (20.9 percent), but substantially better than the results achieved by George W. Bush (a gain of 1 percent).……html?_r=0

    Bushpigs dead last again….

        1. Well, you would say that.

          1. Oh, and you forgot:

            Something Trumplestiltskeins, Jill Stein, blargle blurgle doop blop derp.

            1. Also – ARGLE BARGLE! Frim Fram Froom!

              1. jibber jabber gobba gobba hey!

    1. That’s some high quality data analysis you got going on their Lou.

  11. On the origin of US hate crime laws, wiki sez:

    The Civil Rights Act of 1968 enacted 18 U.S.C. ? 245(b)(2), which permits federal prosecution of anyone who “willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person’s race, color, religion or national origin”

    The law was never meant to impose harsher penalties *just* for anti-black prejudice.

    1. Look, comrade, we can’t just get those thought crimes that we all crave, just like that. We gotta sneak and nudge our way in there!

    2. i did some reading about this in the aftermath of the election, when everyone was claiming a ‘spike/epidemic’ of hate-crimes.

      -it was hardly ever prosecuted under the CRA, even tho it provided for the provision. it didn’t add significant penalties and was hard to prove

      – it wasnt until the 1990s that Clinton added far more severe penalties to the federal hate crime statutes and prosecutors started to take advantage of it.

      – anti-homosexual hate crimes didn’t exist in federal law until just recently. a few states added them piecemeal through the 1990s, but then then there was a rush of new laws passed after the matthew shepard case in 1998, when people realized that there were inconsistent laws for anti-gay bias

      – for some reason i’ve never seen explained anywhere, there was a huge drop in hate crime prosecutions in 2009-now. the declines in ‘racial’ hate crimes have been steady since 2000, but all the other categories declined as well from the beginning of Obama’s tenure to now.

      I credit the Lightbringer for all the racial healing.

  12. Google Home Bots arguing with each other:…..1790843285

    Kind of like the Peanut Gallery.

    1. Is that anything like shreektard’s AddictionMyth blog where the 3 shreektard socks, Butthead, AddictionMyth, and dajall, argue with each other like the retards that they are?

    2. this is so fascinating. it’s like when people argue on facebook, or like when toddlers argue (same thing?)

    3. Holy cow. This is hilarious.

      1. It’s hilarious. They went into a Monty Python skit.

    1. I’m sorry. I meant to say ‘motive’.

      1. early-mid 20s is the typical age for onset of heavy-duty schizophrenia. people with mild/persistent symptoms experience their ‘break’ around that time. what was ‘merely odd’ can go screaming batshit all of a sudden.

        saying that he heard voices telling him to do shit is classic symptom.

        its always in retrospect that it seems so obvious, but i think there’s a lot of resistance to diagnosis from family, as well as reticence in the medical/psych field to flag someone as ‘high risk’. the fact is that many people can be episodic for a few years, then normalize, without ever experiencing the major break.

        The VA tech shooter was also a classic-case. James holmes was a little more atypical

      2. Yeah, sounds like he’s schizophrenic to me…

    2. It’s weird how a person can snap. Bradford Bishop comes to mind- a talented career diplomat, he got passed over for a promotion, murdered his wife and 3 kids with sledge hammer and went on the run.

      1. That’s messed up

    3. Pic wearing Disturbed TShirt. Nice

  13. Good night all, try not to keep the orphans up too late tonight, it is Friday after all

    1. Fuck that, Fridays are double-shift days at my monocle plant.

  14. Hey guys,

    Some nut told the FBI that he was hearing voices telling him to watch ISIS videos, THEN bought a gun, THEN took it on a plane (they made him check it thank God!), THEN he loaded that gun in a supposedly secure area where he THEN shot a bunch of people. My conclusion is that, short of everyone carrying a concealed weapon so that they can engage a perp in a firefight, nothing could be done.

  15. Great Dubs v Grizzlies game right now.

  16. Buzzfeed presents: I Am A Gender Non-Conforming Parent

    1. Little dudes gonna grow up and be a playa

  17. To all my friends that live in red voting states. You have 2 months to move. After that, if you don’t do not consider us friends. I want you dead….Not just dead, but horrible painful deaths….I hope the land runs red with your families blood…Every school shooting will be joyous news for me…I will not support our troops. Every dead service man is a victory for me.

    -Charles Walz, an employee of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities…

    1. Way to commit

    2. It cant happen here, huh?

      The problem they don’t see is that when push comes to shove they are at a serious disadvantage.

    3. No mention of woodchippers, so no problem.

  18. Is that bird flipping everyone off?

  19. Time for a little house cleaning…

    1. The misogynist, pussy grabbing Trump replaced him with a woman? The first woman president of the Ohio GOP? That cant be right.

  20. “The LNC received a bequest from deceased member Joseph Shaber in 2014 of $235,575.20.

    The money is in a trust and is being dribbled out to the Party $33,400 per year in obedience to that legal limit.”

    Mr. Shaber was surely aware of the laws, bequeathed the money to the LNC with the knowledge that it would be dribbled out over years, so I assume that was his intention. Smart.

    If the LNC gets its hands on all of the money at once we will hear a giant sucking sound and the money will be gone. I am not having a lot of sympathy for the LNC here.

    1. IF that was his intention, he should have written it in his will, not rely on the government to force him into doing it.

      And what if he really intended for the LNC to have a lump sum all at once?

  21. I miss Harry Browne.

  22. If the Nevada co-chair of the LP is any indication, the party is in a death spiral. Jason Smith has been up all night on DerpBook responding to those of us who feel that GayJay and Gelded Weld were awful with condescension, mockery, and vitriol. Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest bleeding-heart libertarians? Pas d’ennemis ? droite, pas d’amis ? gauche!

  23. Is the issue at hand over the strict limit or the segregation of funds? Because it seems (albeit not discussed here) that the cases mentioned for those party funds are those dealing explicitly with PARTY activities versus involving particular candidates. On its face, one could expect the party to ask for allowing the money to be spent elsewhere (including on specific races), but it strikes me that the reason for the split is as much to stop the party from spending race-directed funds on non-race party-building activities (the historic root of such laws).

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