Justice Ginsburg Speaks on Citizens United, Arizona Redistricting

The Justice spoke at Duke. She said this about Citizens United (via Adam Liptak):

The court’s worst blunder, she said, was its 2010 decision in Citizens United “because of what has happened to elections in the United States and the huge amount of money it takes to run for office.”

And she said this about the recent Arizona redistricting decision (via HuffPo):

The words in the Arizona case were “the legislature thereof.” What were the Founding Fathers thinking about? They were thinking about who had a legislative function. There was no such thing in those days as the initiative or referendum, those developed later, but those are lawmaking functions, so I think it was entirely reasonable to read the Constitution to accommodate whatever means of lawmaking the state had adopted, rather than say, “No, the only way you could make law that counts for this purpose is by the legislature thereof.” We can’t know for sure because we have no way of convening with the Founding Fathers, but I think if they knew of the existence of the people’s vote through the initiative or referenda, they would have said, “That’s lawmaking.” What we had in mind is who makes the law for the state. Otherwise you’d freeze things as they existed, it would allow no room for affirmative development, no room for the voice of the people, which is what the initiative did.


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