NBC News reports:
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal restriction that applied to candidates who loan large amounts of money to their own political campaigns, a victory for Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who challenged it.
In a 6-3 ruling, the court said the law, adopted in 2002, was a violation of a political candidate’s free expression, applying longstanding rulings that said because money buys the ability to spread a political message, limits on expenditures implicate the First Amendment.
Repayments were capped at $250,000. Cruz loaned his re-election campaign $260,000 — intentionally going above the limit in order to trigger a legal challenge — when then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke ran against him in 2018.
In her dissenting opinion, Elena Kagan criticized the majority for ruling against a law that she said was meant to combat “a special danger of corruption” aimed at “political contributions that will line a candidate’s own pockets.” “In striking down the law today,” she wrote, “the Court greenlights all the sordid bargains Congress thought right to stop. In allowing those payments to go forward unrestrained, today’s decision can only bring this country’s political system into further disrepute.”
Indeed, she explained, “Repaying a candidate’s loan after he has won election cannot serve the usual purposes of a contribution: The money comes too late to aid in any of his campaign activities. All the money does is enrich the candidate personally at a time when he can return the favor — by a vote, a contract, an appointment. It takes no political genius to see the heightened risk of corruption — the danger of ‘I’ll make you richer and you’ll make me richer’ arrangements between donors and officeholders.”
NEW: The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal restriction that applied to candidates who loan large amounts of money to their own political campaigns, a victory for Sen. Ted Cruz. https://t.co/URXcnGMWc7
— OpenSecrets.org (@OpenSecretsDC) May 16, 2022
The Supreme Court split along ideological lines Monday and agreed with Sen. Ted Cruz’s challenge to a law limiting post-election political contributions to repay a candidate’s loan to his campaign.https://t.co/aBvSm2R0d9
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 16, 2022
BREAKING: In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that Sen. Ted Cruz can now hit up donors to help pay himself back for the $555,000 he loaned to his campaigns in 2012 and 2018. https://t.co/xKq1rKuHiX
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 16, 2022