The U.S. Supreme Court returns from its summer recess next month. There are several election law cert petitions before the court, and several more are likely to be filed in the coming month.
The only election law case that the Court has already accepted for review is McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission, 12-536, which will be argued on October 8. The issue is a federal law that limits how much money an individual may donate to all federal candidates combined.
At least three other election law petitions are pending:
1. Worley v Detzner, 13-333, over whether groups that spend small amounts of money on initiative campaigns (for or against) must form a PAC. This is a Florida case.
2. Corsi v Ohio Election Commission, 12-1442, over whether politics bloggers who have any association whatsoever with at least one other individual must form a PAC.
3. Judd v Libertarian Party of Virginia, 13-231, over residency requirements for circulators.
In addition, more cert petitions are likely to be filed soon: (1) a Libertarian Party petition over whether the Michigan “sore loser” law applies to the state’s presidential primary; (2) a Nevada Republican petition over whether the party’s presidential elector candidates have standing to challenge the “None of these candidates” ballot choice; (3) a Montana state government petition over its law making it illegal for political parties to endorse or oppose candidates for judicial office; (4) a Ralph Nader petition over whether he has standing to challenge the Federal Election Commission’s refusal to act on Nader’s complaint that the Democratic Party didn’t declare its 2004 expenses in challenging Nader’s ballot positions. There may be other election law cert petitions soon as well.
UPDATE: there is also James v FEC, 12-683, a case docketed with the U.S. Supreme Court on November 30, 2012, which the Court has not yet acted on. Like McCutcheon v FEC, it challenges the federal law that limits the total amount individuals may donate to federal candidates. The plaintiff, Virginia James, accepts the federal law that sets a limit of $117,000 for individuals in a two-year period to donate to all federal candidates, political parties, and PAC’s. However, she argues that she should be free to distribute her spending with more flexibility than the federal law allows. Federal law sets a $46,200 limit for contributions to all federal candidates. She wants to use some of the money that she is legally permitted to spend on parties and PAC’s to instead exceed the $46,200 limit to candidates. The U.S. Supreme Court had set this case aside on March 15, 2013, and will act on it after the Court decides the McCutcheon case.