Justia Election Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Plaintiffs filed suit challenging the constitutionality of certain contribution restrictions within New York City's campaign finance laws. Plaintiffs claimed that the laws’ restrictions on contributions unduly burdened their protected political speech in violation of the First Amendment and denied them equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court denied plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief and dismissed their claims challenging the constitutionality of the contribution restrictions. Several years later, the Supreme Court issued its decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. Plaintiffs contend in their Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) motion for reconsideration that McCutcheon established, inter alia, a more rigorous standard of review with respect to the government’s burden of proof and what constitutes a permissible governmental interest, a standard under which the “pay to play” rules do not pass muster. The court concluded that neither of plaintiffs' purported effects, considered alone or in combination, satisfies the threshold requirement under the third clause of Rule 60(b)(5) that the judgment sought to be reconsidered apply prospectively. In this case, the February 2009 order at issue was immediately final and required nothing of the parties or the district court going forward; it did not apply prospectively. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiffs' Rule 60(b) motion. View "Tapper v Hearn" on Justia Law