Appeals court dismisses Republican lawsuit over SEC 'pay-to-play' rule

A federal appeals court has thrown out a lawsuit brought by Republican Party officials in two states challenging a federal rule that restricts campaign contributions of investment advisers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said party officials in New York and Tennessee had missed a 60-day deadline for contesting the rule approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010.

The so-called pay-to-play rule requires investment advisers to wait two years before offering services to government clients if they contribute to the campaign of an official with power to influence the adviser's hiring.

GOP officials argued that the rule restricts First Amendment free-speech rights.

A federal district court had previously tossed out the lawsuit, saying it had to be filed in the appeals court.