Ted Cruz wins FEC lawsuit over $ 10,000 campaign loan
A three-judge panel from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Thursday in favor of Republican Senator Ted Cruz in his federal lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission, removing a limit on the amount of post-election contributions that can be used to repay a candidate’s pre-election loans.
Section 304 of the Biparty Campaign Reform Act, 2002 prohibits candidates from using post-election contributions to repay personal loans over $ 250,000.
Cruz, R-Texas, took legal action against the FEC after the $ 250,000 cap prevented him from receiving a full refund of the $ 260,000 he loaned to his Senate re-election campaign in 2018 .
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The decision indicates that Cruz brought an action “to invalidate and prohibit the application of article 304 and its implementing regulations”.
“We find that the loan repayment limit weighs on political discourse and therefore implies First Amendment protection,” the three-judge panel wrote in its opinion.
“Because the government has failed to demonstrate that the loan repayment limit serves an interest in preventing corruption quid pro quo, or that the limit is adequate enough to serve this purpose, the loan repayment limit goes to against the First Amendment, âthe judges wrote.
“We therefore grant summary judgment for Senator Cruz and his campaign,” they wrote.
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Candidates for federal office need substantial funds to support their campaigns, the ordinance says, adding that funding can come from individual contributions, which are subject to a cap per election.
“A campaign can repay a candidate’s loans using contributions received before and after the election,” the judges wrote.
Cruz, in filing the lawsuit, said the FEC violated the First Amendment and said the loan repayment limit “unconstitutionally violates the First Amendment rights of Senator Cruz, his campaign, other candidates and anyone who might be looking to make post-election contributions. ”
A spokesperson for Cruz told Fox News that “the unanimous decision was a resounding victory for the First Amendment and free speech.”
“The existing FEC rules have benefited incumbent politicians and the super rich and made it harder for challengers to come forward, and the court rightly ruled them unconstitutional,” the spokesperson said.