Ruth Bader Ginsburg reveals the 'most disappointing' Supreme Court decision of her career


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Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (L) and Stephen Breyer chat before President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg still isn't happy about the 2010 Citizens United ruling that's responsible for opening the door for a whole new era in campaign funding and financing, she said Wednesday.


Speaking at an event at the Duke University School of Law on Wednesday, Ginsburg said that the was the decision was the "most disappointing" ruling of her time on the bench, according to The New York Times, "because of what has happened to elections in the United States and the huge amount of money it takes to run for office."

Ginsburg's disapproval of the ruling is well documented - last year, she said that if she could overturn one decision of the past several years, Citizens United would be it.

The controversial 2010 decision, a 5-4 split roundly criticized on the left, expanded the idea of "corporate personhood," lifting restrictions on political spending by corporations and unions. It has dramatically changed the landscape for campaigns, allowing the creation of so-called super PACs that can accept unlimited contributions from donors. Those entities have allowed candidates to stay in races longer while flooding the airwaves with political advertisements.

Despite the narrative that liberal wing of the court has enjoyed a number of successes recently - a fact that Ginsberg admits could change next term - Ginsburg said there are a number of high-profile legal issues that still trouble her.


On Wednesday, she reiterated her opposition to the death penalty and criticized state laws that impose extremely tough restrictions on abortion clinics that make it difficult for low-income women to get abortions.

"Reproductive freedom is in a sorry situation in the United States," Ginsburg said, according to the Times. "Poor women don't have choice."

Many Republican-led states have taken measures over the last several years to impose new regulations on clinics that perform abortions, making it virtually impossible for many to stay open.

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