Boehner cheers Supreme Court

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPrinciples to unify America Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats Obama on bipartisanship: 'There is a way to reach out and not be a sap' MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday cheered a Supreme Court decision striking down limits on aggregate campaign donations, saying the ruling was a victory for the freedom of speech.

“I’m all for freedom. Congratulations,” Boehner told reporters at a Capitol press conference after hearing news of the court’s 5-4 ruling. [WATCH VIDEO]


The decision came down after the event had gotten under way; an aide whispered the news to the Speaker, who then quietly informed Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Asked if the ruling would give “outsized” power to wealthy donors, Boehner replied, “No.”

“What I think this means is that freedom of speech is being upheld,” he said. “You all have the freedom to write what you want to write. Donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give.”

Boehner said problems in the campaign finance system stemmed from the 2002 McCain-Feingold law, which set new limits on contributions.

“You have to remember this all goes back to this bizarre McCain-Feingold bill which passed that has distorted the political process so that no one who voted for it ever believed it,” he said. 

The court’s ruling released Wednesday gets rid of the aggregate $123,200 limit on total contributions that a person can make to political candidates in a given two-year cycle.

The limits were enacted by Congress in the early 1970s and upheld by the court’s 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision