In re Cao

619 F.3d 410 (2010)

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In re Cao

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
619 F.3d 410 (2010)

Facts

In 2008, Anh “Joseph” Cao (plaintiff) was a member of the United States House of Representatives. The Republican National Committee (RNC) wrote and produced an advertisement that it intended to run on behalf of Cao during his reelection campaign. The RNC wanted to coordinate the timing of the release of the ad with Cao to identify the most impactful period for the endorsement to run; however, the RNC could not coordinate with Cao and his campaign because the RNC had already reached the limit on its coordinated expenditures as a political party on behalf of Cao. The RNC decided not to run the ad because the organization could not coordinate its timing with Cao. Cao and the RNC then filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission (defendant) seeking a declaratory judgment that multiple provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) were unconstitutional restrictions to the RNC’s ability to make expenditures in coordination with Cao’s 2008 congressional campaign. The district court dismissed four challenges as frivolous and certified four questions to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit en banc. Cao appealed the dismissal of four of his challenges. The Fifth Circuit consolidated the en banc consideration of the certified questions and Cao’s appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Davis, Benavides, J.J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Clement, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Jones, C.J.)

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