By James Vicini James Vicini – Thu Jan 21
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Corporations can spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, a landmark decision denounced by President Barack Obama for giving special interests more power.
"The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," Obama said after the 5-4 ruling that divided the nation's high court along conservative and liberal lines.
"It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans," Obama said.
Obama said he instructed administration officials "to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue" and "talk with bipartisan congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision."
The ruling, a defeat for Obama and supporters of campaign finance limits, is expected to unleash a flood of money to be spent in this year's congressional election and the 2012 presidential contest.