[JURIST] US District Judge Emmet Sullivan [official bio] ruled Friday that two lawsuits against the Federal Election Commission [official website] should be combinced, calling their claims "virtually identical." The 2004 Bush campaign and Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn. and Marty Meehan, D-Mass. sued the FEC separately last year after it allowed partisan interest groups to spend tens of millions of dollars in support of presidential candidates opposing President Bush. If successful, the combined action would limit donation maximums and require registration by those wishing to spend money in federal elections. The FEC has said that the parties have no legal standing to raise such lawsuits. Reps. Shays and Meehan have worked in concert for campaign finance reform since 2001. Their positions on campaign finance issues may be found here and here, respectively. AP has more.