Texas Senator Ted Cruz won a 6-3 decision from the Supreme Court Monday morning. He sued the FEC, claiming a rule (304) regarding restrictions on the repayment of a candidate’s “personal loans” made to fund an election campaign was not legal. The Court’s conservatives agreed with him that the law impermissibly burdens a candidate’s free speech rights. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the Court’s opinion, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Justice Elena Kagan wrote a dissent for herself and Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
Liberty Nation has published the full opinion here.
Roberts’s opinion said, “In the end, it remains our role to decide whether a particular legislative choice is constitutional.” And “here the Government has not shown that Section 304 furthers a permissible anticorruption goal, rather than the impermissible objective of simply limiting the amount of money in politics.”
As LN previously reported:
On Monday, November 5, 2018 – one day before the election – Mr. Cruz loaned $260,000 to his election committee. After the 20-day deadline following the election, the committee repaid the legal limit of $250,000. That left $10,000, which was then required to be reclassified as a contribution. Cruz challenged this and won in the lower courts.
The Court’s opinion holds both that the repayment limit violates the First Amendment and that Ted Cruz has standing to challenge the rule in court, something the SEC claimed he did not have.
Justice Kagan writes in dissent, “So the majority overstates the First Amendment burdens Section 304 imposes. At the same time, the majority understates the anticorruption values Section 304 serves.”