WASHINGTON – A judge on Tuesday denied the Federal Election Commission's (search) request that she temporarily set aside a ruling striking down several government rules on political fund raising.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (search), though denying the FEC's request that she stay her September ruling pending the outcome of the commission's appeal in the case, said the FEC rules she overturned will nonetheless remain "on the books" until the commission writes new ones.
In addition to requesting a stay, the FEC had asked the judge to make it clear the regulations she struck down would remain in effect for the Nov. 2ommission should act in line with the court's opinion and stop working against "both congressional intent and the public interest," the judge added.
The FEC's stay request was opposed by two sponsors of the nation's new campaign finance law, Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Martin Meehan, D-Mass. The two sued to overturn several commission regulations they contended opened loopholes in the law; the judge agreed and struck down more than a dozen.
The 2002 law prohibits national party committees and federal candidates from raising corporate, union and unlimited donations and broadly bans the use of such "soft money" in federal elections.