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Top Democrats Diss Supreme Court Decision

The president's call for Congress to join him in trying to counter the Supreme Court's decision to remove the ban on direct corporate and union funding of campaign ads was swiftly answered, including a promise of Hill hearings on the decision.

The Supreme Court ruled that the ban was an unconstitutional restriction on political speech, but Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) said Thursday they would do "everything possible to make sure this decision does not stand." Van Hollen called the decision "scandalous" and "un-American." They said they would be taking the lead on the issue in their respective bodies.

They branded it a sad day for democracy and a radical decision that throws out decades of precedent. "It will open the floodgate, if left unchecked and unchallenged, to more and more special interest money, big corporation money," said Van Hollen at a joint press conference.

Schumer, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, promised to hold hearings on the decision "in the next couple of weeks," saying the decision had just selected the winners in the next election: corporate America. He said the hearings would include exploring legislation to reimplement the ban, if possible.

He said the airtime purchased would "dwarf" the voice of averaged Americans. "We will regret the day that this decision was issued."