SCOTUS to Hear Ted Cruz Campaign Finance Challenge Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine Texas's abortion law on Capitol Hill on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 30 September 2021 01:14 PM
The Supreme Court has agreed to review a legal challenge by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to a provision of the federal election law that puts limits on reimbursements to candidates for personal loans to their campaign, The Hill is reporting.
The case stems from Cruz’s 2018 run for Senate. He made two loans the day before the general election for a total of $260,000. After he won the election, Section 304 prevented Cruz from paying himself back the final $10,000.
The Federal Election Commission had argued the law intended to stop corruption, citing comments from then-Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on the Senate floor who said candidates ''have a constitutional right to try to buy the office, but they do not have a constitutional right to resell it,'' Roll Call reported.
But Cruz — who succeeded Hutchison after she decided against a run for reelection in 2012 — pointed to another part of that same speech, where she said the purpose was ''to level the playing field so that one candidate who has millions, if not billions, of dollars to spend on a campaign will not be at such a significant advantage over another candidate who does not have such means as to create an unlevel playing field."
A federal court in Washington sided with Cruz — striking down a ''somewhat obscure'' section of a 2002 campaign finance law that’s expected to give a boost to wealthier candidates who self-fund their campaigns.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found in June that Section 304 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act unconstitutionally infringes on candidates’ free speech rights, Roll Call had reported.
According to The Hill, the FEC appealed to the Supreme Court in July.
CNN reported that lawyers for Cruz filed briefs with the Supreme Court, noting that "by substantially increasing the risk that any candidate loan will never be fully repaid — forces a candidate to think twice before making those loans in the first place."
The justices are expected to hear arguments in the case during the term that begins Monday, the outlet said. A decision is likely before July.