Federal Election Commission v. Nra Political Victory Fund

6 F.3d 821 (1993)


Congress amended FECA creating P to enforce FECA. The Commission consisted of six voting commissioners all appointed by the president and two non-voting ex officio commissioners who just happened to be the Senate secretary and the Clerk of the House of Representatives. In March and July of 1988, PVF sent a letter to all NRA members soliciting funds to finance its activities in the upcoming November elections. The mailings totaled $415,744.72. D paid the vendors the full amount on behalf of PVF. On August 1, 1988, PVF reimbursed D for these payments. PVF had a shortfall in its operating budget and D wrote a check to return the monies. PVF then used those funds to make independent expenditures (such as television or print advertisements) on behalf of candidates and to contribute directly to political campaigns. P notified D that it had reason to believe that the third transaction violated FECA, which prohibits corporate contributions and expenditures in connection with federal elections. D disagreed, and P brought this civil enforcement action. Both sides moved for summary judgment. The district court determined that return of the reimbursement was a 'contribution' in violation of section 441b(a). D appealed. D claims that the composition of P, particularly its two ex officio members, violates the Constitution's separation of powers.