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Ted Cruz Is Asking The Supreme Court To Effectively Legalize Campaign Bribes, And No One Is Surprised To See It

Ted Cruz simply cannot stop attracting negative attention to himself. It’s easy to wonder, as well, about how Ted might be wanting to distract everyone from his impending one-year anniversary of “Cancun,” but nope, this is probably only a case of Ted being Ted. He’s never, ever deflated, not even after being caught “liking” a porn tweet or being unflatteringly compared to a Game of Thrones character for groveling to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson after (accurately) describing January 6 as a “terrorist attack.”

Ted’s month keeps growing ever more squirrelly, and his current appeal to the Supreme Court is a prime example. The above Getty photo (of Ted smugly shaking the hand of the Trump-nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh in 2018) goes with the theme well. That theme’s related to what recently landed Lauren Boebert in hot water: using campaign funds to pay personal expenses. Ted’s now brought a sketchy case (Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate) to the Supreme Court that asks them to essentially legalize campaign bribes. At the very least, the case means to loosen restrictions, and it would do so — with a confusing loophole — by removing limits on how much a candidate can “loan” their campaign and how these loans could be repaid by donations that go straight to the candidate.

In a roundabout way, this means that candidates can directly take donations (which could very well be bribes) and bypass their campaign-related red tape in the process. They would also earn interest on the money during these loans, in addition to taking what could be bribes without checks and balances. It’s crafty as hell, as Vox points out:

And even if lawmakers do not enrich themselves by making high-interest loans to their campaign, the fact remains that every dollar a campaign donor gives to help a campaign pay back a loan from the candidate goes straight into that candidate’s pocket. As the Justice Department argues in its brief defending against Cruz’s lawsuit, “a contribution that adds to a candidate’s personal assets (and that can accordingly be used for personal purposes) poses a far greater threat of corruption than a payment that merely adds to a campaign’s treasury (and that can accordingly be used only for campaign purposes).”

While a decision in Cruz’s favor could effectively make it legal for wealthy donors to bribe lawmakers, Cruz has a very good chance of prevailing in a Supreme Court where Republicans control six of the Court’s nine seats.

Unshockingly (and as pointed out above), the Justice Department is looking to shut down Cruz’s case, but the court’s leaning in Cruz’s favor, particularly because Brett Kavanaugh has (in the past) argued that limits on campaign contributions are somehow unconstitutional. Whatever the outcome of this case turns out to be, no one on Twitter seems to be surprised at all that Ted Cruz wouldn’t mind effectively legalizing bribery through campaign donations.

(Via Vox & SCOTUS Blog)