Shapiro Arato Files Summary Judgment Reply in Lawsuit to Open Presidential Debates to Independent and Third-Party Candidates

On November 10, 2017, Shapiro Arato filed the reply brief in further support of plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in Level the Playing Field v. FEC, No. 15 Civ. 1397 (D.D.C.).  In this action, Plaintiffs Level the Playing Field (“LPF”), Peter Ackerman, the Green Party of the United States, and the Libertarian National Committee, Inc. seek to overturn the FEC’s dismissal of their administrative complaints and rulemaking petition challenging the criteria used by the Commission on Presidential Debates (“CPD”) to determine who participates in the presidential debates.  Plaintiffs allege that the CPD is a partisan organization whose debate-selection criteria are being used subjectively to exclude independent and third-party candidates.  Earlier this year, the district court granted Plaintiffs’ prior motion for summary judgment against the FEC, holding that there was “substantial” evidence supporting Plaintiffs’ claims, and that the FEC’s original decisions dismissing Plaintiffs’ challenges were “arbitrary and capricious.”  The Court remanded the matter to the FEC and ordered it to issue new decisions.  When the FEC’s post-remand decisions reached the same result as its original ones, Plaintiffs renewed their challenge before the district court and filed the instant summary judgment motion.

Alexandara Shapiro and Eric Olney co-authored the reply brief filed on November 10.  A copy of the brief is available here.  Plaintiffs’ opening summary judgment brief and the FEC’s brief are located here and here.  More information about Shapiro Arato’s representation of the LPF Plaintiffs can be found here.