Posted on July 10, 2023
CREDO grantee Take Back the Court is reforming the Supreme Court to preserve democracy, rights, and freedoms
Note from the CREDO team: This July, Take Back the Court is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will help the organization rebuild democracy, protect the rights of women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people of color, tackle the climate crisis, and mobilize progressive activists to take action.
Read this important blog post about Take Back the Court’s critical work, then click here to visit CREDODonations.com to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this July.
In 2016, the right-wing movement stole the Supreme Court.
In an unprecedented political move, Mitch McConnell and his Senate cronies refused to hold a vote for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. In doing so, they shrunk the Court to 8 seats for more than a year. But they weren’t done.
In the fall of 2020, they tossed out their own rulebook and rammed through the confirmation of Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett in record time — even though 63 million people had already cast ballots in the election that would ultimately unseat President Trump.
Without those two insidious moves, the Supreme Court would have a 5-4, narrow liberal majority. Instead, the highest court in the land is being held hostage by 6 right-wing extremist politicians in robes — 5 of whom were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote. Their radical agenda won’t win at the polls, so they’re imposing minority rule from the bench.
Take Back the Court was established to counter this threat to our democracy — to reclaim for the American people the most powerful legal institution in the country from the radical politicians who spent decades carefully plotting to enact a regressive and anti-democratic agenda against the will of the majority of Americans. Take Back the Court is the only organization dedicated primarily to expanding and rebalancing the Supreme Court to strengthen American democracy and preserve fundamental freedoms for all Americans.
The Supreme Court Is Stripping Us of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
We are watching the Court strip away more and more of our fundamental rights and freedoms each and every year. In just the 2.5 years since Justice Barrett took the bench, the Court has eviscerated voting rights protections three times. It has gutted rights for working Americans twice. It has defanged the 50-year-old environmental protections that protected our air and water from pollution twice. They have stripped LGBTQ+ people of their right to shop in stores, made our communities more vulnerable to gun violence, blocked student debt relief, ended protections for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people, and, of course, cut off access to abortion.
Only Expansion Can Rebalance the Court and Protect Us From Its Current Radicalism
So what are we doing about it? We’re building a movement to expand and rebalance the Court. Our country was founded on a principle of checks and balances, and historically, Congress has checked the power of the Supreme Court by changing its size and composition. It’s happened 7 times before, and we can make it happen again to correct the right-wing theft of the Court. By passing a bill, the Judiciary Act, to add 4 seats to the Court, we can create a more balanced institution committed to upholding our rights and freedoms — and unlike other judicial reforms, the current Court could not strike down Court expansion.
In just 4 years, we’ve taken Court expansion from a lofty idea to a blossoming movement and mainstream policy goal with more than 65 supporters in Congress and the endorsement of more than 130 diverse organizations. Groups like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Color of Change, Black Lives Matter, VotoLatino, March for Our Lives, Greenpeace, Lambda Legal, SEIU, and many others have joined this fight because they know we cannot create a future that works for all with a broken Court attacking our rights and freedoms.
And we’re just getting started. Because of our work, Americans are realizing that if they care about nearly any issue — voting rights, climate change, labor rights, LGBTQ+ rights, racial and economic justice, tribal sovereignty, abortion and reproductive rights, immigration, student debt relief, gun violence prevention, and carceral state reform to name a few — they care about the Supreme Court and what it’s doing. We need a Court that will respect our rights and freedoms rather than standing in the way of progress if we are going to meet the challenges currently facing our country.
Occasional decisions that do not inflict maximum pain on Americans aside, this Court is not going to stop its assault on our more cherished rights, freedoms, and progress.. And the justices embroiled in ethics scandal after ethics scandal are not going to voluntarily check their own power or miraculously wake up and decide to “do the right thing.” We’re making sure all Americans, their organizations, and their congressional representatives know exactly the threat the Court poses and what we can do about it.
Despite losing the popular vote in 7 out of the last 8 presidential elections, Republicans have held the Court for 50 straight years. Without expansion, we are unlikely to see a liberal majority on the Court until at least 2065.
We’ve seen the harm the Court can do with just one decision. We’ve seen the devastation that follows just one term. We cannot withstand 40 more years of this Court rolling back our rights and freedoms. We must take back the court — today! Join us at takebackthecourtfoundation.org.