As we noted earlier this week, the ball in the Van Hollen v. FEC case was in the agency’s court. There have been two developments to close out this week.
First, the FEC voted during its open meeting yesterday, on a 3-3 party-line vote (audio here), not to pursue a new rulemaking to amend 11 C.F.R. § 104.20(c)(9), and filed a status report with the district court stating its intent to continue defending the regulation. Commissioners Ellen L. Weintraub, Cynthia L. Bauerly, and Steven T. Walther, the three Democrats who voted in favor of a rulemaking, issued statements on the vote.
Second, and somewhat unexpectedly, defendant-intervenor Center for Individual Freedom informed the district court today that it had petitioned the FEC after yesterday’s meeting “to conduct a narrow and focused rulemaking.” Specifically, CFIF asked the agency to eliminate only those paragraphs in the challenged regulation that were adopted in the wake of Wisconsin Right to Life, but made irrelevant by Citizens United. The status report filed with the district court concerning the petition for rulemaking appears to be simply an “fyi,” rather than an attempt to affect the path of the litigation.