Published On: Thu, Feb 5th, 2015

The One Supreme Court Decision Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Would Overturn

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Thinks Citizens United v. FEC was a big mistake

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked if there was one Supreme Court decision during her tenure at the court she would undo, which one would it be?

Justice Ginsburg, 81, who has served as a Supreme Court Justice since 1993, says she regrets that the Citizens United Case passed in 2010, because it has allowed for increasing spending on campaigns and is undermining the spirit of the democratic process, as she told students at Gerogetown University Law Center. What is worse, she points out, is the effect reaches to state and local judges who are elected in 39 states.

Citizens United v. FEC dealt with the screening of an ad attacking Hillary Clinton, and extended to the issue of spending on campaigns. The majority decision, written by Justice Kennedy, compared campaign donations the free speech, and that restrictions by the government were akin to First Amendment violations. The dissenting opinion was written by Justice Stevens and was joined by Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer and Justice Sotomayor. Justice Stevens wrote that the decision reached in the Citizens United case comparing campaign donations to free speech, “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nations. The path it has taken to reach this outcome will, I fear, do damage to the institution … a democracy can’t function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”

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