Protecting Lower Courts

While the Supreme Court is often what springs to mind when Americans think about our judicial system, most federal cases never make it to the high court. The vast majority are decided by district courts (where trials happen) or circuit courts (where appeals happen). These judges are confirmed for lifetime appointments, and it's more urgent than ever to confirm fair-minded lower court judges who understand the impact their decisions have on our lives. We need to protect our lower courts and advocate for judges who respect justice and equality for all.

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Fighting a Right-Wing Takeover of Appeals Courts

President Trump and conservative legal groups like the Federalist Society are enacting a right-wing takeover of our appeals courts. They are pushing judges who would protect corporations and the wealthy over the rights of all Americans, and who would rubber-stamp the president’s extreme agenda. Trump promised to nominate ideological judges “in the mold of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia,” and he’s doing just that.

This is nothing short of a disaster for for our rights. Appellate courts resolve tens of thousands of court cases each year, often serving as the final word on issues like voting rights, environmental protections, LGBTQ+ rights, job discrimination, workers’ rights and reproductive rights. Trump’s judicial takeover is putting our core liberties in jeopardy—for a generation or longer.

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Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears

Since 2017, PFAW’s Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears blog series has covered Trump appellate judges and Supreme Court justices’ troubling votes and decisions, highlighting select cases in which Trump judges dissented or split from their colleagues on legal rights in key areas including voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality, racial equity, reproductive rights, the rights of working people, checks and balances on presidential power, repealing the New Deal and more.

After the volume – and impact – of Trump judges’ disturbing rulings continued to proliferate, PFAW launched a new corresponding interactive tool to allow progressive activists to sort by issue area or by judge to see, at a glance, Trump judges’ bad rulings in each issue area and get a clearer picture of that judge’s individual impact on important rights.

Go to the tool

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