The Supreme Court championed free speech rights with its decision striking down limits on campaign finance, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday.

McConnell, a longtime foe of federal law establishing rules on campaign spending, welcomed the court's decision this morning allowing corporations and organized labor to more freely make independent expenditures in elections.

“For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process. With today’s monumental decision, the Supreme Court took an important step in the direction of restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups by ruling that the Constitution protects their right to express themselves about political candidates and issues up until Election Day," McConnell said in a statement.


McConnell was on-hand at the Supreme Court this morning when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced the opinion of the court, which was decided in a 5-4 vote.

The top Senate Republican had been a litigant in the previous test of campaign spending rules, McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), a 2003 challenge to the constitutionality of the campaign finance law pushed for by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).

McConnell made reference to the McCain-Feingold and other previous laws in reaction to the court's ruling Thursday.

"By previously denying this right, the government was picking winners and losers," he said. "Our democracy depends upon free speech, not just for some but for all.”