The Supreme Court rules for the senator. Cruz in the campaign finance case

Washington (AFP) – A conservative majority in the Supreme Court sided Monday with the Republican senator. Ted Cruz from Texas It overturned a provision in the federal campaign finance law, one that an opposition judge said had the risk of causing “further abuse” of US policy.

The court, by 6 to 3, said the ruling in which Cruz challenged limiting the repayment of personal loans from candidates to their campaigns violated the constitution. The decision comes as the election campaign for the 2022 midterm elections escalates.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote to the majority that this provision “overburdens basic political rhetoric without proper justification.”

The Biden administration defended it as an anti-corruption measure, but Roberts wrote that the government was unable to show that the clause “enhances the permissible anti-corruption objective, rather than the impermissible objective of limiting the amount of money in politics”. “

Judge Elena Kagan disputed the opinion, writing that for two decades, the ruling examined “devious exchanges.” In opposition to her and other liberals in court, Kagan said that the majority, in overturning this ruling, “lights up all the vile deals that Congress thought proper to stop.” She said that the decision “will only serve to discredit the political system in this country.”

In an emailed statement, Cruz’s attorney, Charles Cooper, said the ruling was “a victory for the First Amendment to ensure freedom of expression in the political process.”

The case included a section of the 2002 Party Campaign Reform Act, commonly referred to as the McCain-Fingold Campaign Finance Act. The ruling states that if a candidate lends his or her campaign money before the election, the campaign cannot repay the candidate more than $250,000 using the money raised after Election Day. The ruling said the loans could still be repaid with the money raised before the election.

Cruz, who has served in the Senate since 2013 and ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2016, loaned his campaign $260,000 the day before the 2018 general election for the purpose of challenging the law.

Cruz’s spokesman, Steve Guest, said in an emailed statement that the senator is “delighted” with the decision, which Guest said will “help revitalize our democratic process by making it easier for competitors to confront and defeat career politicians.”

The decision is the latest since Roberts became chief justice in 2005, as conservatives in Congress have removed limits on raising and spending money to influence elections. This includes the 2010 Citizens United ResolutionWhich opened the door to unlimited independent spending in the federal election.

Kagan, in her dissent, described one result now which is the cancellation of the most recent article. She said a candidate can loan his or her campaign $500,000 and, after winning, use donor money to pay it off in full. She wrote that a grateful politician might then respond to donor money with “favorable legislation, perhaps valuable dates, and perhaps lucrative contracts.” “The politician is happy. The donors are happy. The only loser is the public. It inevitably suffers from government corruption.”

At another point, she said, “It doesn’t take a political genius to see the rising risks of corruption—the risk of ‘make you richer, you make me richer’ among donors and incumbents.”

However, in the majority opinion, Roberts noted that individual contributions for federal candidates, including those made after a candidate won an election, are capped at $2,900 per election.

“The direct opposition’s predictions about the impact of today’s decision negate the fact that the contributions involved remain subject to these requirements,” he wrote. He noted that most countries “do not impose restrictions on the use of post-election contributions to repay candidate loans.”

Cruz argued that this ruling made candidates think twice about lending money because it greatly increased the risk that any candidate loan would not be repaid in full. A lower court agreed that the ruling was unconstitutional.

The issue may be more directly relevant to candidates for federal office who want to make large loans to their campaigns. But the administration, which declined a request for comment after the ruling, also said the vast majority of nominated loans have in the past been less than $250,000, so the ruling that Cruz appealed has not been enforced.

The government said that in the five election cycles before 2020, Senate candidates provided 588 campaign loans, about 80% of them under $250,000. House candidates received 3,444 loans, nearly 90 percent less than $250,000.

The case is the Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, 12-12.

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