Ted Cruz won a lawsuit against the FEC over a loan for his campaign. A federal court ruled that his right to free speech had been violated.

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Senator Ted Cruz speaks to an audience in Jerusalem in May

Senator Ted Cruz in May. Sebastian Scheiner / AP Photo

  • A federal court order says the FEC violated Senator Ted Cruz’s First Amendment rights over the redemption limit.

  • Cruz borrowed $ 260,000 for his campaign in 2018, which is $ 10,000 more than the repayment limit.

  • “The loan repayment limit makes political speech difficult,” wrote three federal judges.

  • See more stories on the Insider business page

A federal court defeated Senator Ted Cruz, claiming that the $ 250,000 cap on post-campaign payments to candidates violated his First Amendment rights.

On April 1, 2019, Cruise’s campaign filed a lawsuit against the FEC after contributing $ 260,000 to his 2018 re-election campaign. He filed a lawsuit when he was trying to get his personal loan back.

“We are finding that the loan repayment limit interferes with political action and thus implies First Amendment protection,” three federal judges wrote Thursday. memorandum

They added: “Because the government has failed to demonstrate that the loan repayment limit serves the interest in preventing corruption for the service, or that the limit is sufficiently tailored for this purpose, the loan repayment limit is contrary to the First Amendment. “

Thursday’s decision marked another victory for conservative politicians and donors who have long sought to lift restrictions on political fundraising. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled against the Federal Election Commission in the case against Citizens United, setting limits on corporate election spending and initiating the super-PAC.

In a dispute between Cruz and the Federal Election Commission, the commission’s lawyers said last year that Cruz deliberately violated the rules by forcing him to file a lawsuit.

Cruz’s campaign staff began discussing action against the repayment limit back in 2012, according to court records.

“These discussions have been going on for several years, concurrently with the preparation of Senator Cruz for re-election in 2018,” wrote lawyers for the Federal Election Commission. requested summary judgment in 2020.

Cruz raised over $ 35 million during his campaign against Beto O’Rourke. But the day before the election, Cruz lent his campaign $ 260,000. At the close of the polls on November 6, 2018, his campaign had $ 2.38 million in cash, according to court documents.

The Campaign Finance Act allowed campaigns to pay up to $ 250,000 in personal loans from candidates, but they had to wait 20 days before distributing funds.

During this 20-day waiting period, Cruise’s campaign could have paid out an additional $ 10,000 in cash on election day, according to the Federal Election Commission.

“However, the plaintiff did not return the money during this period because he wanted to file a claim,” the commission said in a statement.

Cruise’s campaign waited 20 days, after which the disbursement of funds began.

In an email to his campaign 2 days after the deadline, Cruz said, “Since it’s been over 20 days, it would be REALLY good if we could get at least some of the $ 250,000 back now. Our cash is really stretching. “

In a lawsuit filed on April Fools ‘Day in 2019, Cruise’s team said the payout restriction violated candidates’ rights under the First Amendment. Cruz argued that his campaign was to continue raising funds after the election to pay off the $ 10,000 balance of his personal loan, according to the statement.

The repayment limit “limits the political speech of candidates and their election committees, limiting the amount of time a candidate can raise money to convey their political message, and effectively limiting a candidate’s ability to provide campaign loans the funds needed,” Cruz said. the lawyers wrote in the complaint.

An insider contacted Cruise’s office for additional comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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