Campaign Legal Center v. FEC, No. 21-5081 (D.C. Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Appellants, Campaign Legal Center and Catherine Hinckley Kelley filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission (“Commission” or “FEC”). Appellants contended that the Commission’s decision to dismiss their complaint alleging violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (“Act” or “FECA”) during the 2016 presidential election cycle by the political committee Correct the Record (“CTR”) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign committee, Hillary for America, was contrary to law. CTR and Hillary for America (together, “Intervenors”) intervened as defendants in this suit.
The court held that Appellants have standing to sue, reasoning that, “a denial of access to information qualifies as an injury in fact where a statute (on the claimants’ reading) requires that the information be publicly disclosed and there is no reason to doubt their claim that the information would help them.” The court found that the information Appellants seek is not currently known and it cannot be gleaned from the disclosures that have already been made by CTR and Hillary for America. The court stated there is no doubt that disaggregation of the existing disclosures would reveal the amounts of any coordinated contributions. It is also clear that the amounts that CTR contributed to the Clinton campaign constitute factual information that is subject to disclosure under the statute.
Appellants have demonstrated a quintessential informational injury directly related to their “interest in knowing how much money a candidate spent in an election.” Thus, the court reversed the district court’s dismissal for lack of standing and remand for further proceedings.