The Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 21 that campaign finance laws should be relaxed to reflect constitutional rights to free speech. However, the decision was strongly criticized by liberal politicians, and even John McCain expressed his disapproval.
The ruling in Citizens v. Federal Election Commission eases the limits on corporate campaign donations, in practice allowing businesses, unions and advocacy groups to air political ads, according to media reports.
Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that the decision reflects the majority’s belief that government’s regulation of who provides information to citizens violates the First Amendment.
However, Representative Steve Kagen (D-Wis.) said the ruling is "an affront" to his constituents and added that "people have constitutional rights, not corporations," quoted by Green Bay Press Gazette.
Top Democratic leaders in Washington have also expressed their dismay, warning that the ruling will cause corporate money to flood politics, create greater corruption and erode democracy and free elections by promoting special interests.
Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tim Kaine confirmed the administration is preparing a "forceful response" to the Supreme Court’s decision that he said "must not be allowed to stand."
Meanwhile, Senator John McCain, (R-Ariz.), declared himself disappointed with the ruling that weakens the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 he co-sponsored.
The act banned unregulated contributions to national political parties, outlawed advocacy ads in the 60 days before an election, limited contributions and required donor disclosure.