Supreme Court Gives Ted Cruz Huge Win in 1st Amendment Challenge to Fed Campaign Laws

The Supreme Court has just handed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) a huge win in a case involving the use of campaign contributions to repay personal campaign loans.

The SCOTUS ruled a federal cap on candidates using political contributions after the election to recoup personal loans was unconstitutional.

The Twitter account that watches the court and gives updates, SCOTUS Blog, said:

“The Supreme Court sides with Sen. Ted Cruz in his First Amendment challenge to a federal campaign-finance law that limits how and when candidates can recoup loans that they make to their own campaigns.

“The vote is 6-3 along ideological lines.

“Here is the opinion from John Roberts in Federal Election Commission v. Cruz: The three liberal justices dissent.”

The Supreme Court ruling says:

“As a final argument, the Government claims that if the matter is otherwise in doubt, we should defer to Congress’s ‘legislative judgment’ that Section 304 furthers an anticorruption goal.

“Such deference, the Government contends, is grounded in part on the understanding that Congress ‘is far better equipped than the judiciary to amass and evaluate the vast amounts of data bearing upon legislative questions.’

“But as explained, the evidence here is scant, and Congress’s judgment is hardly based on ‘vast amounts of data.’

“Moreover, deference to Congress would be especially inappropriate where, as here, the legislative act may have been an effort to ‘insulate legislators from effective electoral challenge.’

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“In the end, it remains our role to decide whether a particular legislative choice is constitutional.

“See Sable Communications of Cal., Inc. v. FCC, 492 U. S. 115, 129 (1989); see also Randall, 548 U. S., at 248–249 (stressing need for ‘the exercise of independent judicial judgment’ in case raising concern that ‘contribution limits that are too low [may] harm the electoral process by preventing challengers from mounting effective campaigns against incumbent officeholders’).

“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.

“For the reasons set forth, we conclude that Cruz and the Committee have standing to challenge the threatened enforcement of Section 304 of BCRA.

“We also conclude that this provision burdens core political speech without proper justification.

“The judgment of the District Court is affirmed. It is so ordered.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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