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Justice Ginsburg: Citizens United Is Court's Biggest Mistake
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Getty Images)

Justice Ginsburg: Citizens United Is Court's Biggest Mistake

By    |   Thursday, 30 July 2015 08:28 AM

The "most disappointing" Supreme Court decision in the last two decades is the Citizens United case, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in remarks about her tenure, according to The New York Times.

Ginsburg, who was the featured guest Wednesday at an event hosted by Duke Law professor Neil Siegel, said the 2010 decision was the court's biggest mistake "because of what has happened to elections in the United States and the huge amount of money it takes to run for office."

Ginsburg also reflected on other major issues decided by the court, including gay marriage, healthcare and housing discrimination, and touched on other topics including the death penalty and abortion rights.

"Every year I keep waiting for the year when we will be out of the headlines, but it hasn't happened yet," she told Siegel, according to The Huffington Post. "It's hard not to have a big year at the Supreme Court."

In the case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, Ginsburg said that if she had written a concurring ruling separate from Justice Anthony Kennedy she would have focused more on explaining the equal protection rationale. She said she ultimately decided not to write a separate opinion because it was "more powerful to have the same, single opinion."

"That kind of discipline is to say, 'I'm not the queen and if the majority is close enough to what I think … then I don't have to have it exactly as I would have written it,'" she said, according to the Post.

"On the whole, we think of our consumers — other judges, lawyers, the public. The law that the Supreme Court establishes is the law that they must live by, so all things considered, it's better to have it clearer than confusing."

In the case of King v. Burwell that upheld Obamacare insurance subsidies, Ginsburg joked that it was a matter of "literal vs. what I call sensible interpretation," the Post reported.

"If you read the chief justice's opinion, I think you would agree with me that no, there's no sensible way of reading the statute other than the way, there’s no other way it made sense at all. … In the healthcare case, Congress obviously wanted people to be able to have health insurance in the way that people who sign up for federal exchanges. There's no point in having a federal exchange other than for them to work with subsidies," she said, according to the Post.

She also said she that was prepared to strike down the death penalty, a reflection of a dissent she issued last month. She said the justice system is plagued with errors and bad lawyers, and prone to racial and geographic disparities, the Times reported.

Meanwhile, she was pessimistic about the state of abortion rights.

"Reproductive freedom is in a sorry situation in the United States," she said, according to the Times.

"Poor women don't have choice."

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The "most disappointing" Supreme Court decision in the last two decades is the Citizens United case, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in remarks about her tenure, according to The New York Times.
ginsberg, supreme court, citizens united, mistake, obamacare
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2015-28-30
Thursday, 30 July 2015 08:28 AM
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