1. I am guessing it's about a court ruling when the judge comes up with a final decision in a particular case. It's what the court decides.
2. as little as = only: it was only 30 years ago that...
3. child poverty means exactly what it says: kids go hungry for days when single parents scrape by to feed and clothe their kids, afford any decent medical care, let alone any other extras that other kids take for granted.
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