A senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sharply criticized the Federal Election Commission for arguing that a legal challenge to the commission’s decision to not prosecute certain campaign finance violations cannot be reviewed by the court.

In a per curiam opinion Friday, the panel upheld a district court ruling that granted the FEC summary judgment in a lawsuit from the nonprofits Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, finding the reasons commissioners gave for throwing out complaints of campaign finance violations were reasonable.

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