Ginsburg's Dream: Overturning Citizens United

| by Ray Brown
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgSupreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a dream, but she doesn't expect it to come true.

"It won’t happen," Ginsburg told The New York Times. "It would be an impossible dream. But I’d love to see Citizens United overruled."

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2010 that effectively allowed political candidates to raise unlimited funds through Super PACs. The 5-4 ruling has been roundly criticized by activists, as well as some politicians, and the vast majority of Americans are opposed to it, according to a Bloomberg poll.

The poll, conducted in 2015, found that 78 percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United should be overturned, while only 17 percent consider it to be a "good decision."

“What it suggests is that Citizens United has become a symbol for what people perceive to be a much larger problem, which is the undue influence of wealth in politics,” David Strauss, a constitutional law professor who teaches at the University of Chicago, told Bloomberg.

Opposition to Citizens United appears to be something Democrats ad Republicans can agree on. The Bloomberg survey found 80 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats oppose Citizens United. And 71 percent of independents also oppose the ruling.

This isn't the first time Ginsburg has spoken publicly about her opposition to Citizens United.

In a 2014 interview with the New Republic, Ginsburg strongly criticized the ruling.

“If there was one decision I would overrule, it would be Citizens United,” she said. “I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be.”

And in a 2015 talk with Duke University students, Ginsburg said Citizens United was the most disappointing ruling of her 23-year tenure on the Supreme Court.

Sources: The New York Times, New Republic, Bloomberg, Duke University / Photo Credit: European University Institute/Flickr

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