Protecting the Supreme Court

Supreme Court justices should understand that the Constitution protects all of us, not just the wealthy and privileged. But Republicans are bent on pushing right-wing ideologues onto the bench who do not demonstrate respect for our constitutional rights and values of liberty, equality, and justice for all.

This lurch to the right on our nation’s most important court continues to produce distressing results: An influx of corporate money in our elections. Weakened voting rights and worker protections. Rulings that value the interests of corporations above the health of women.

It’s more important than ever for Americans to push for Supreme Court justices committed to recognizing and enforcing the rights of ordinary people under the law rather than simply protecting the powerful.

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A Right-Wing Court

As the U.S. Supreme Court is pushed further to the right—as with the confirmation of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch—real people suffer. In recent years, the right-wing majority on the high court has issued rulings that weaken our democracy and threaten individual rights, including:

  • Citizens United v. FEC: The 2010 Citizens United ruling paved the way for unlimited corporate spending to influence our elections.
  • Shelby County v. Holder: This 2013 decision gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the “crown jewel” of the civil rights movement.
  • Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.: The Hobby Lobby case, decided in 2014, said corporations have religious rights and can use them to deny birth control to women workers.

What’s at Stake in the Supreme Court

Despite the current Supreme Court’s far-right decisions, some closely-divided cases in recent years have protected, rather than harmed, fundamental rights. In decisions like Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage equality case, and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which protected abortion access, five Supreme Court justices came together to defend constitutional liberties—highlighting the importance of each Supreme Court seat.

New cases about critical issues will continue to make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court docket in years to come, where the justices—who are confirmed for lifetime appointments—will have the final word. This is almost certain to include cases on religious liberty, church-state separation, reproductive rights, money in politics, LGBTQ equality, immigration, and more.

The debate around who serves in our judicial branch is about more than individual nominees, it’s about the constitutional rights and values that make us who we are as a country. We have to stand up for those values by lending our voices to the ongoing fight to protect the Supreme Court.

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By the Numbers

68% of Americans
The percent of Americans who say that who sits on the Supreme Court is “very” or “extremely” important to them.

Over 165 decisions
The number of 5-4 Supreme Court decisions issued since Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito joined, many of which distorted the law and undermined our democracy.

$17 million
The amount a right-wing dark money group spent to block President Obama’s nominee and instead ram through President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch.