“Occupy the Super PACs: Justice Ginsburg knows the Citizens United decision was a mistake; Now she appears to be ready to speak truth to power”

I have written this piece for Slate.  It begins:

In 18 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has written more than 200 opinions on a number of important topics, including major opinions on everything from copyright law to abortion rights to employment discrimination. But in the area of campaign finance, she’s authored only one inconsequential two-paragraph concurring opinion—in one of the Supreme Court’s recent cases striking down parts of the McCain-Feingold law—in which she distanced herself from a more far-reaching dissentof Justice Stevens. She’s been a reliable vote to uphold reasonable campaign-finance laws, but this has hardly been her signature issue.

Last week, however, Justice Ginsburg issued a short statement that hinted she is ready to speak out more boldly. She, like many Americans, appears concerned with the rise of super PACs and the disturbing role money is playing in the 2012 campaign season since the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. FEC.  Justice Ginsburg likely won’t have the votes to overturn Citizens United, but she soon will be in a position to expose the disingenuousness at the ruling’s core.

Since I wrote this I thought of another example of a very brief Ginsburg opinion—though on campaign finance disclosure, not limits.

 

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