Ted Cruz cut himself $555,000 check from his own campaign after favorable SCOTUS ruling: report
Senator Ted Cruz (BILL CLARK/POOL/AFP)

On Monday, Business Insider reported that after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) won a Supreme Court case eliminating a 2002 campaign finance law, he cut himself a $555,000 check from his own campaign, a self-payment that would not have been legal prior to the decision.

"Cruz ... received $555,000 from his campaign account two months ago, according to new documents filed with the Federal Election Commission," reported Bryan Metzger. "And the one-time presidential candidate and two-term senator has the US Supreme Court to thank for it."

"When Cruz first ran for the United States Senate in 2012, he loaned his campaign over $1 million of his own money amid a heated primary campaign against then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of Texas. Cruz would go on to win a run-off against Dewhurst," said the report. "However, the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act — championed by the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona — set a $250,000 limit on the amount of money that candidates could raise after the election for the purpose of paying off personal loans to their campaign committee."

"Thus, Cruz essentially lost $545,000 of his own money after the campaign, with the outstanding portion of the loans converted to an in-kind contribution," said the report. "Six years later, facing an unexpectedly competitive re-election campaign against then-Rep. Beto O'Rourke in 2018, Cruz opted to challenge the law. He lent his campaign $260,000 — just $10,000 more than the limit — on November 5, just one day before the election."

Cruz's subsequent lawsuit, which led to the 6-3 Republican appointee-controlled Supreme Court invalidating the rule, is one of a series of right-wing Supreme Court decisions over the last decade invalidating various rules governing how political groups spend money. While the ruling leaves in place individual contribution limits, the limit on raising money to repay personal loans effectively allows people to pay candidates directly after the election is complete, creating more opportunities for favor-trading and bribery.

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Cruz faces re-election in 2024, six years after his closely-watched contest with O'Rourke. His seat is one of a very small handful of Republican-held seats that year Democrats can contest, as nearly all potentially competitive races that year are seats they are defending.