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Libertarian National Committee alleges Federal Election Commission violates Constitution

By Robbie Hargett | Feb 6, 2016

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The national committee of the Libertarian Party is suing the Federal Election Commission over claims its restrictions on donation usage are unconstitutional.

The Libertarian National Committee filed a lawsuit Jan. 25 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Federal Election Commission, alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution.

The suit states Joseph Shaber bequeathed $235,575.20, without restrictions, to the Libertarian National Committee. However, according to the suit, the Federal Election Commission applies annual contribution limits, currently $33,400, to political party committees.

The suit claims that the party limit applies only where a contribution might be used for general communication and party-building, but it claims the government would allow the party committee to accept up to $100,200 per year from a particular contribution if the money were used for each of three government-approved purposes: a national convention, attorneys or a headquarters building.

The suit states applying these content-based restrictions on use of funds is unconstitutional by infringing upon the speech rights of donors and donees.

The Libertarian National Committee seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, plus costs and attorney fees. The plaintiff is represented by attorney Alan Gura of Gura & Possessky in Alexandria, Virginia.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Case number 1:16-cv-00121-BAH

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