Author: Don Obrien

U.S. Supreme Court to consider Senator Cruz’s campaign finance challenge

Sept 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear the Federal Election Commission’s bid to restore a campaign finance law that caps the amount of money that candidates can be reimbursed for personal loans to their campaigns in a challenge brought by Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

The justices took up the FEC’s appeal of a lower court ruling that found that the cap violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech by unjustifiably burdening political expression.

The case involves a provision of a 2002 campaign finance law that limits the amount of money that candidates can accept from donors after an election as they try to recoup money they personally lent to their formal campaign organizations.

The measure – part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act – imposes a ceiling of $250,000 on payments from donations made after an election even if candidates made loans exceeding that sum.

Cruz sued the FEC, challenging the constitutionality of the law that the agency enforces, after his successful 2018 Senate re-election race in Texas against Democratic rival Beto O’Rourke. Cruz had lent his campaign organization $260,000 but was limited by the law to a $250,000 reimbursement from his campaign.

Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham

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