“Campaign Finance Returns to Supreme Court in Ted Cruz Case”

New Brennan Center analysis of the pending Ted Cruz case.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this Wednesday in a case that marks the latest attempt to dismantle federal campaign finance rules. The case, Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, challenges a statutory limit on how much candidates can raise after an election to recoup money they loaned to their own campaigns. . . .

The limit is a straightforward anti-corruption measure. The Supreme Court has held that candidates have the right to spend as much of their own money as they want to get elected — wealthy self-funders often tout their lack of reliance on donors as proof that they are incorruptible (an argument the Court itself has echoed). But fundraising after an election to recoup personal funds turns this argument on its head: Instead of being independent from donors, a winning candidate — now an elected official — is raising money that will go directly into the official’s own pocket. The corruption risk is obvious.

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