Scotusblog Lists Libertarian Party Bequest Case as a “Petition of the Week”


Scotusblog, the blog of the United States Supreme Court, has highlighted the petition pending before the court regarding the case of the Libertarian Party’s lawsuit against the Federal Elections Commission as one of its “Petitions of the Week“.

Below is the text of the post:

Issues: (1) Whether limiting the size of Joseph Shaber’s uncoordinated testamentary bequest to the Libertarian Party violates the party’s First Amendment right to free speech; and (2) whether 52 U.S.C. §§ 30116(a)(1)(B), (a)(9) and 30125(a)(1) violate the First Amendment right of free speech by conditioning the size of contributions to a political party on the content of the party’s speech.

This is the case over whether the US Constitution permits the government to stop a party from receiving a large bequest from a deceased individual all at once. Joseph Shaber, upon passing away, left over $235,000 to the Libertarian National Committee. However, the federal government restricted the party’s access to Shaber’s gift, ruling that it was subject to annual contribution limits for donations that are typically applied to living people, which currently is $35,500 per year.

The US Court of Appeals ruled against the Libertarian National Committee on May 21. The LNC appealed the case to the US Supreme Court on August 21.