April 5, 2006
Wisconsin Right to Life
James Bopp, Jr.
Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom
FEC Refuses WRTL Offer
to Stay and Settle Case
On April 4, the FEC Commissioners voted to
refuse the offer of Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. ("WRTL") to stay
and settle its lawsuit in WRTL v. FEC (WRTL's suit to establish a grassroots
lobbying exception to the electioneering communication prohibition). WRTL had
offered to stay proceedings and to settle the case if the FEC would issue a
statement of policy and pursue a rulemaking to protect grassroots lobbying from
the prohibition on "electioneering communications."
The grassroots lobbying exception that WRTL
proposed follows the definition that a broad-spectrum coalition recently
proposed as the subject of an expedited rulemaking. The coalition was comprised
of the AFL-CIO, Alliance for Justice, Chamber of Commerce of the United States,
National Education Association, and OMB Watch. The proposed rule may be found
online at http://www.fec.gov/pdf/nprm/lobbying/notice_2006-4.pdf .
James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel for WRTL,
comments: "The FEC continues its intransigence concerning a rule to
protect grassroots lobbying, even though the Supreme Court recently reiterated
the authority of the FEC to make a rule and Senators McCain and Feingold and the
other prime sponsors of BCRA earlier proposed a grassroots lobbying rule to the
FEC and said it was okay to adopt it. It is time for the FEC to get moving on
The letter requesting the statement of policy
and offering settlement may be read at www.jamesmadisoncenter.org
under the section on Wisconsin Right to Life's McCain-Feingold Challenge.
James Bopp, Jr. has a national federal and state
election law practice. He is General Counsel for the James Madison Center for
Free Speech and former Co-Chairman of the Election Law Subcommittee of the
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