Author Topic: Court sides with Ted Cruz and strikes down campaign-finance restriction along ideological lines  (Read 113 times)

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SCOTUSblog by   Amy Howe 5/16/2022

Court sides with Ted Cruz and strikes down campaign-finance restriction along ideological lines

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal campaign-finance law that limits how and when candidates can repay loans that they make to their own campaigns. The 6-3 ruling, which held that the law violates the First Amendment, came in a case filed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, after his 2018 victory over Democrat Beto O’Rourke – which at the time was the most expensive Senate race in history.

The case, Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, involved Section 304 of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act, which allows candidates to use up to $250,000 in post-election contributions – but no more – to repay loans that they made to their campaign before the election. A lower court ruled that the $250,000 limit is unconstitutional because the government had not shown either that it serves an interest in preventing politicians from trading favors for contributions or that the limit is sufficiently targeted to serve that interest. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld that ruling.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts began by rejecting the Federal Election Commission’s argument that Cruz and his campaign lacked the right to sue because the injuries they complained about – the campaign’s inability to fully repay a $260,000 loan that Cruz made to his campaign before Election Day – did not stem from the enforcement of Section 304. It doesn’t matter, Roberts wrote, that Cruz made the loan so that he could bring a test case. The Supreme Court, Roberts stressed, has never held that a person who “purposely incurs” an injury forfeits legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of that injury.


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