8th Circuit: FECA does not preempt Minnesota consumer protection law

After receiving consumer complaints about its use of pre-checked recurring-donation checkboxes, the Minnesota Attorney General sent subpoenas and a civil investigative demand to WinRed, a so-called “conduit” political action committee (PAC). WinRed sought a preliminary injunction against the investigation in federal district court, arguing that Minnesota’s consumer protection laws were preempted by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). The district court disagreed and dismissed the case, and the Eighth Circuit today affirmed. The court found that “Minnesota’s consumer-protection law fits into the fourth category of statutes [that are, by regulation] not superseded by FECA, laws prohibiting ‘false registration, voting fraud, theft of ballots, and similar offenses.'”


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