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Eight years ago, Senate Republicans acted to deny the will of the people by blocking consideration of the duly elected president’s pick for the Supreme Court. These politicians held open the seat—depriving Americans of a fully functioning Court and therefore legal system—as a political gamble, all in hopes that a Republican would soon become president and select a nominee who would advance far-right interests and benefit the wealthy over everyday families.

They succeeded in this goal, with dire ramifications for our country.

The courts have become rapidly politicized in the eyes of the public. A one-term, twice-impeached president has appointed one-third of the Supreme Court. Decisions have become more secretive while also becoming more extreme, rolling back long-cherished freedoms and making it harder for Americans to live healthy and happy lives.  

A strong judiciary—fair and trusted in the eyes of the public—is critical to any truly free society. But today, public faith in the judiciary is at an all-time low.

Demand Justice, since its founding, has been unapologetically committed to reversing this state of affairs and returning balance to the Court.

And we’ve had an impact. Reflecting our groundbreaking work with people on the ground as well as with the nation’s leading legal experts alike, public debates over major structural reforms to the Court are occurring for the first time in over half a century.

And our calls for a bench made up of diverse perspectives have helped to strengthen the judiciary. In 2020, only about one percent of all federal appellate judges had spent the majority of their careers as public defenders or legal aid attorneys and not one had spent the majority of their career at a nonprofit civil rights organization. Now, diverse professional experiences and perspectives are present at all levels of the judiciary. And, for the first time in history, a sitting Supreme Court justice has experience as a public defender.

Despite these gains, it is clear that change is badly needed. A battery of ethics violations and decisions badly out-of-touch with the views of the majority of Americans prove that the Supreme Court and judiciary as a whole must be updated to reflect modern life and modern values. 

The courts have become too powerful and play by their own rules—acting above the law that they themselves are responsible for safeguarding. All options must be on the table.