Cort v. Ash Case Brief

Facts of the Case

After the directors of a corporation had authorized the use of corporate funds to finance the cost of advertisements made in connection with the 1972 presidential election, one of the stockholders brought a two-count action against the directors in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to obtain injunctive relief against further corporate expenditures in connection with the 1972 election or any future campaign, and to obtain compensatory and punitive damages in favor of the corporation. One of the counts alleged federal jurisdiction in the District Court and asserted a private claim for relief under–a criminal statute prohibiting corporations from making contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections. Following the District Court’s denial of a preliminary injunction and an affirmance of the ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, there were subsequent proceedings in the District Court at which the stockholder filed an amended complaint. Summary judgment for the defendant directors was granted, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed, holding that since the amended complaint sought damages on behalf of the corporation for violation of § 610, the controversy was not moot, although the election which occasioned it was over, and that a private cause of action, whether brought by a citizen to secure injunctive relief or by a stockholder to secure injunctive or derivative damage relief, was proper to remedy the violation of § 610.





Case Information

Citation: 422 US 66 (1975)
Argued: Mar 18, 1975
Decided: Jun 17, 1975
Case Brief: 1975