A federal court in Washington D.C. ruled in favor of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz in a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission challenging a cap on how much money candidates can use after an election to reimburse themselves for pre-election loans.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia unanimously rejected arguments from the FEC that the rule is necessary to prevent quid pro quo corruption, ruling instead that the cap unfairly restricts candidates’ free speech.
“A candidate’s loan to his campaign is an expenditure that may be used for expressive acts. Such expressive acts are burdened when a candidate is inhibited from making a personal loan, or incurring one, out of concern that she will be left holding the bag on any unpaid campaign debt,” U.S. District Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, wrote on behalf of the panel.
Rao was joined in the decision by U.S. District Judges Amit Mehta, an Obama appointee, and Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee.