Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas scored a 6-3 Supreme Court victory, ruling that a law limiting how much money raised after an election a campaign can use to repay loans from the candidate was unconstitutional.
$260,000 were loaned by Cruz to his 2018 Senate campaign, but a maximum of $250,000 was only allowed by federal election law, for campaigns to repay from post-election funds, and even money raised preelection could only be used within 20 days of the election.
“This limit on the use of post-election funds increases the risk that candidate loans over $250,000 will not be repaid in full, inhibiting candidates from making such loans in the first place,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. He also noted that at the time, that had been the most expensive Senate race ever, as reported.
This law says that any amount above $250,000 that is unpaid shall be considered a campaign contribution. It is the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, and Cruz openly admitted that the express purpose of his loan was to challenge restrictions in the law.
“[T]here is no doubt that the law does burden First Amendment electoral speech, and any such law must at least be justified by a permissible interest,” Roberts wrote.
Roberts determined in the end that the government failed to show that it had “a legitimate objective” for its repayment limit.
“In discarding the statute, the Court fuels non-public-serving, self-interested governance. It injures the integrity, both actual and apparent, of the political process,” wrote Justice Elena Kagan.