Catholic Leadership v Reisman: Judge Denies Bexar County DA’s Motion to Dismiss

Catholic Leadership Coalition of Texas v. Reisman is a First Amendment lawsuit brought by three Texas PACs and a related nonprofit to challenge provisions of the Texas Election Code that (i) require all political committees to register with the Ethics Commission before spending more than $500; (ii) require certain types of issue-oriented committees to wait 60 days after registration before spending more than $500; and (iii) prohibit corporations, including nonprofit corporations, from making contributions to support “independent expenditures” that are not coordinated with the benefiting candidate. ┬áThis case–and others currently pending in Texas that raise similar claims–will be closely followed on this blog. [Disclosure: I am representing the plaintiffs in Catholic Leadership.]

While a more complete discussion will be posted soon, the latest: the court issued an order Jan 10 denying a motion to dismiss filed by Bexar County DA Susan Reed. The court’s order includes a brief discussion concluding that plaintiffs’ standing remains intact, even though the relevant election has already passed. Pretty straightforward application of Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court precedent regarding standing in the election context.

The case is in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division.

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