Supreme Court Overturns Campaign Loan Repayment Limit
The Supreme Court today in a 6-3 decision overturned Section 304 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, declaring in a majority opinion that the law impermissibly “burdens core political speech.”
This case, provoked by a deliberate violation of the regulation by Sen. Ted Cruz, concerned whether a candidate for federal office could be repaid after the election for borrowed funds of more than $250,000.
The majority opinion cited our Protect The First Foundation’s amicus brief, which provided evidence that Section 304 inhibits candidates’ speech. As we explained in our brief: “The loan repayment limit … burdens challengers by deterring them from raising money from one of the few sources that may be available to them early in their campaigns: a personal loan.”
Justice Elena Kagan in her dissent claimed that the law prevents “political contributions that will line a candidates’ own pockets.” Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts responded that “we are talking about repayment of a loan, not a gift.”
Once again, the Court has recognized that many restrictions on campaign spending are restrictions on speech. Protect The 1st is pleased to have contributed to this significant First Amendment victory.