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Davis v. Federal Election Commission

Docket No.: 07-320
Certiorari Granted: 1/11/2008
Argued: April 22, 2008
Decided: June 26, 2008

PartyNames: Jack Davis, Appellant v. Federal Election Commission
Petitioner: Federal Election Commission
Respondent: Jack Davis

Court Below: United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Federal Election Commission
Jack Davis
554 U.S. ____ (2008)

Section 319 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 created the so-called "Millionaires' Amendment." The three-judge district court found that Congress enacted section 319 to achieve equity between congressional candidates utilizing personal funds for their campaigns and candidates relying mainly on contributed funds. Under the statute, when candidates for the United States House of Representatives exceed ยง350,000 in personal campaign expenditures their opponents may be entitled to receive: 1) contributions from donors at triple the statutory limit; 2) contributions from donors who have reached their statutory limit for aggregate campaign donations; and 3) coordinated expenditures from party committees in excess of the statutory limit. To effectuate application of section 319, the statute also imposes significant notification and disclosure obligations upon self- financed candidates.

Question Presented:

1. Whether the three-judge district court erred in finding that Congress's attempt to equalize a potential imbalance in resources between congressional candidates violates neither the First Amendment to the United States Constitution nor the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment. 2. If equalizing a potential imbalance in resources of congressional candidates is constitutional, whether the federal statutory provision accomplishes the stated purpose.


Does the Millionaire’s Amendment to the 2002 campaign finance law, which raises the contribution limit for those running against a self-financed candidate, violate free speech clause of the First Amendment and the equal protection principle of the Fifth Amendment?



Holding: judgment reversed and remanded
Vote: 5-4
Opinion By:

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