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Supreme Court agrees to hear Ted Cruz’s challenge to campaign finance reimbursement rules

<i>Tom Williams/AFP/POOL/Getty Images</i><br/>The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Ted Cruz's challenge to campaign finance reimbursement rules.
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Tom Williams/AFP/POOL/Getty Images
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Ted Cruz's challenge to campaign finance reimbursement rules.

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case concerning Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2018 campaign and consider regulations that limit money that committees can raise after the election to reimburse loans made before the election.

A lower court ruled in favor of Cruz, holding that a loan-repayment restriction under federal campaign finance law violates the First Amendment.

Federal law allows candidates to make loans to their campaign committees without limit. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, however, imposes a $250,000 limit on a campaign committee’s ability to repay those loans with money contributed by donors after the election.

In his 2018 campaign for the US Senate, the Texas Republican loaned his campaign $260,000 — $10,000 over the limit. As things stand, the committee is unable to pay him the remaining $10,000 on the loan.

“Existing FEC rules benefit incumbent politicians and the super wealthy by making it harder for challengers to run for office,” a spokesman for Cruz said in a statement to CNN Thursday. “We’re confident the Supreme Court will again rule in favor of the First Amendment and free speech.”

Lawyers for Cruz told the Supreme Court in briefs that the law “by substantially increasing the risk that any candidate loan will never be fully repaid — forces a candidate to think twice before making those loans in the first place.”

In his lawsuit, Cruz argued that the law imposed “arbitrary restrictions on core political speech.”

The Biden administration supports the limits, noting that the loan was made with the “sole and exclusive motivation” to trigger the lawsuit.

This story has been updated with comment from Cruz’s office.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Chandelis Duster contributed to this report.

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