Van Hollen, Jr. v. FEC, et al, No. 12-5117 (D.C. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Appellee brought a lawsuit challenging 11 C.F.R. 104.20(c)(9), a regulation promulgated by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), that purported to implement section 201(f)(2)(F) of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), 2 U.S.C. 434. The court held that appellee easily satisfied the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 702 and demonstrated his Article III standing by showing that he would be unable to obtain disclosure of information under the BCRA because of the allegedly unlawful restrictions imposed by section 104.20(c)(9). On the merits, the court held that the district court erred in holding that Congress spoke plainly when it enacted 2 U.S.C. 434(f), thus foreclosing any regulatory construction of the statute by the FEC. Moreover, employing traditional tools of statutory construction, the court did not find that Congress had an intention on the precise question at issue in this case. Indeed, it was doubtful that, in enacting 2 U.S.C 434(f), Congress even anticipated the circumstances that the FEC faced when it promulgated section 104.20(c)(9). The court reversed and vacated summary judgment in favor of appellee, remanding to the district court. Upon remand, the district court shall first refer the matter to the FEC for further consideration.