NEWS & ANALYSIS

Supreme Court to Hear Ted Cruz Lawsuit Challenging Federal Campaign Finance Rules


The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear Ted Cruz’s lawsuit challenging federal campaign finance rules that restrict the ability to raise money after an election to repay a candidate’s personal loan. 

Cruz won the lawsuit in a lower court previously. The court found that the limits were a violation of his First Amendment rights. 

As reported by USA Today, on the day before the 2018 election, Cruz lent his campaign a whopping $260,000, $10,000 more than the maximum amount federal law allows to be repaid with post-election campaign fundraising. Those that favor tougher laws say that allowing campaigns to raise money to repay candidates is like putting donor money directly into the candidate’s pockets.

“The use of post-election contributions to repay personal loans creates a heightened risk of actual and apparent quid pro quo corruption,” the Federal Elections Commission told the Supreme Court. “Money that repays a personal loan after an election effectively goes into the candidate’s pocket.” 

Cruz, on the other hand, argued that the restriction increases the risk “that any candidate loan will never be fully repaid,” which “forces a candidate to think twice before making those loans in the first place.”