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Sen. Ted Cruz. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it would hear a lawsuit brought by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) challenging a federal rule that limits post-election political donations that help campaigns repay personal loans from candidates.

Driving the news: The Federal Election Commission appealed a lower court ruling that sided with Cruz, who argued that the law violated the First Amendment by restricting political expression.

Background: The law, which was passed in 2002 as part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, puts a $250,00 cap on the amount of money raised after an election that campaigns can use to repay candidates for personal loans.

  • The FEC argues that that law is designed to prevent the appearance of quid pro quo corruption, the Washington Post notes.

Details: Cruz loaned his campaign $260,000 right before his 2018 election as a direct challenge to the rule and sued the FEC in 2019.

  • A three-judge panel in the D.C. District Court sided with Cruz in July, striking down the cap and setting up the FEC's appeal to the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: Ted Cruz spokesperson Steve Guest called the decision "great news." 

  • "Existing FEC rules benefit incumbent politicians and the super wealthy by making it harder for challengers to run for office. We’re confident the Supreme Court will again rule in favor of the First Amendment and free speech," Guest added.

What's next: The case is one of five the Supreme Court added to its docket before a new term begins on Monday.

Go deeper

Oct 25, 2021 - Podcasts

Why Virginia's governor race is so closely watched

It’s the final week of the governor’s race in Virginia between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin. It’s a huge test for Democrats as they try to hold onto this must-have state.

  • Plus, the Supreme Court decides to hear three abortion cases this term.
  • And, new FBI data shows how border towns are safer than other American cities.

Guests: Axios' Fadel Allassan, Oriana Gonzalez and Russell Contreras.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Alex Sugiura, Lydia McMullen-Laird, Michael Hanf, and David Toledo. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

19 hours ago - World

Ted Cruz will lift his confirmation blockade for Biden’s ambassador to China

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) does not plan on stalling the confirmation of President Biden's ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, as he has done with dozens of other State Department nominees, according to a source familiar with the decision.

Why it matters: Burns, a former career diplomat widely viewed as one of Biden's most qualified nominees, will be tasked with managing the president's defining foreign-policy challenge: preventing "intense competition" with China from spiraling into outright conflict.

Our guide to Texas' 8 constitutional amendments

Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Texas voters have eight proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot this election season.

  • Early voting ends Friday. Polls are open from 7am to 7 pm on Nov. 2.

Why it matters: A majority of Texas voters must approve each amendment to the state’s constitution. The proposed additions were passed as bills during the latest legislative session.