In Wake of Yet Another Partisan Ruling by Supreme Court, Demand Justice Urges Democrats in Presidential Debate to Rally Behind Court Reform

June 27, 2019

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Progressive Group Calls for Candidates to Step Up Their Response with New Video that Outlines Principles for Reining in Politicized Court

WASHINGTON, DC—After the Republican Supreme Court justices refused to rein in partisan gerrymandering on Thursday, Demand Justice urged the Democratic presidential candidates to rally around the need to reform the Supreme Court and released a new video outlining principles for depoliticizing the judicial branch.

Court reform has become an increasingly important topic among Democratic voters, with at least 18 of the candidates asked about the issue at town hall events in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

But while some candidates–such as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg–have rolled out structural reform proposals, others have merely expressed openness to the idea. In light of the five Republican justices’ decision today upending the Constitutional guarantee of “one person, one vote,” the Supreme Court must be a leading topic of discussion during tonight’s DNC-sponsored debate in Miami.

“This gerrymandering ruling is yet another example of Republican-appointed justices helping the Republican party consolidate political power and Democrats need to finally get organized in response,” said Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon. “Any Democratic presidential candidate who wants to be taken seriously needs to step up with a proactive plan to restore legitimacy and balance to the Supreme Court. It is no longer enough for these Democrats to act like we can fix the Court by simply winning the next election because, at this point, the Court is undermining the very integrity of our elections. We need structural reform of the Court and we need the Democratic candidates to embrace it, starting at tonight’s Miami debate.”

In anticipation of the potential discussion at tonight’s debate, Demand Justice released a new video that details the Republican politicization of the Court and discusses some of the progressive priorities that are in jeopardy due to the Court’s overtly partisan leanings. The video then outlines Demand Justice’s three principles for reforming the Supreme Court: adding justices, enacting term limits, and passing a code of ethics.

A plan embracing these three principles would restore balance to the Court, de-politicize the confirmation process, and ensure that justices are held accountable for ethics violations even after they are sworn in.

A transcript of the video appears below.


VOICEOVER: Republicans in Washington have hijacked the Supreme Court.

First, they stole a Supreme Court seat from President Obama.

CLIP OF MITCH MCCONNELL: “This nominee is not gonna be considered.”

VOICEOVER: Then, they changed a 70-year-old rule to install two of Donald Trump’s far-right justices, including Brett Kavanaugh, who faced multiple allegations of sexual assault.

Now, this politicized Supreme Court is rubber stamping Trump’s policies and undermining the rule of law by overturning its own decades-old precedents.

Under this Court, Roe v. Wade is in permanent danger. And that is just one of our many rights under threat.

And even if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, this Supreme Court will have the power to strike down progressive proposals like campaign finance reform or a solution on climate change.

The good news is we’re seeing more activism than ever before and there is something we can do.

Here is our three part plan to reform the Supreme Court:

One: change the law to ensure that the next Democratic president can nominate justices to balance out Trump’s ideologically extreme picks.

Two: enact term limits to standardize the time any justice can serve on the Court and take the politics out of when the next vacancy will occur.

And three: impose a code of ethics on the Supreme Court.

More than two-thirds of voters already support some of these ideas, and they are gaining steam from national voices too.

If you agree that the Court has gotten too political, join us now in supporting real reform for the Supreme Court.

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