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Libertarian Party Files Second Lawsuit on Whether McCain-Feingold Law Can Prevent Party from Receiving Large Bequests in one Lump Sum

In 2007, Raymond Burrington died and left the Libertarian Party $217,000. The Federal Election Commission would not let the party have the money all at once. Instead, because the McCain-Feingold law limits the amount of money an individual can give to a party (whether the donor is alive or dead), the money had to be parceled out in chunks of about $30,000. The Libertarian Party sued the FEC to get a ruling that this part of the McCain-Feingold law, as applied to bequests, is unconstitutional. But the court proceedings took so long, by the time the case was ready for a decision, seven long years after the death of the donor, the money had been given to the party.

On January 25, 2016, the party filed a similar lawsuit, over a new bequest. Joseph Shaber of Arizona died on August 23, 2014, and left the party $235,575. The new lawsuit is Libertarian National Committee v FEC, 1:16-121. It is assigned to Judge Beryl Howell, an Obama appointee. The FEC will only let the party have $33,400 per year, but the party wants the money now, instead of waiting for seven years. This case won’t take as long as the last one, because the first case established some procedural rules for how cases like this are handled.

 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.


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