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Progressive Coalition Launches Campaign to Demand Congress Act on SCOTUS Reform

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REFORMS - Accusing the U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority of "trampling long-standing judicial norms and legal precedent," a coalition of more than 100 advocacy groups on Monday announced a new campaign aimed at pushing Congress to rein in the "extreme" court. 

Made up of "grassroots organizations, labor unions, and advocates for reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, the environment, workers' rights, and more," United for Democracy "kicks off with a $1 million ad campaign and multi-state initiative to raise awareness about the court's impact on Americans' lives and freedoms," the coalition said in a statement.

Starting in Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and "tapping into the growing attention paid to battleground states as we approach 2024," United for Democracy aims to "build pressure on Congress to act" by regulating the court's ethical and administrative aspects—and even by increasing the number of its justices.

"United for Democracy is launching with a clear message in Washington, D.C. and across the country: This extreme Supreme Court is hurting workers, families, communities, and our country," Stasha Rhodes, the campaign's director, said in a statement. "We are standing together to organize, fight back, and demand change."

"We are launching United for Democracy to make sure people understand what's at stake and how they can demand action from Congress."

"This Supreme Court has grabbed unprecedented power, rejected basic ethics, transparency, and accountability—and is implementing an extreme agenda that the American people have continuously rejected," Rhodes added. "We are launching United for Democracy to make sure people understand what's at stake and how they can demand action from Congress."

Bianka Emerson, president of coalition member Colorado Black Women for Political Action, said: "Our democracy is under attack. So many in this country worked and fought to provide for equality for all and we have seen in the past few years, the clock turning back on this very progress."

"Progress for women's health, voting rights, and even public safety have all been compromised," she added. "We must work to rein in the Supreme Court in order to secure a true democracy for generations to come."

Alliance for Justice president Rakim Brooks warned that "unless we stand together, the Supreme Court is only going to further erode our rights, our democracy, and the quality of our lives and those of our loved ones."

"America is supposed to be a country where the rule of law governs, not ideology, yet in recent years we've watched this court trample decades of precedent and eviscerate the rule of law to serve an ideological agenda," Brooks continued. "If that weren't bad enough, we now know Justice [Clarence] Thomas has been profiting for his profane use of public office."

Thomas is under fire for failing to report lavish gifts he and his relatives received from billionaire Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow.

"Enough is enough; it's time we defend our court and take it back from those who would undermine its legitimacy and vital role in our democracy."

"Enough is enough; it's time we defend our court and take it back from those who would undermine its legitimacy and vital role in our democracy," Brooks added.

Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig said his group joined United for Democracy because "the growing Supreme Court corruption crisis has highlighted how fundamentally broken our court is and how urgently it needs reform."

"With United for Democracy, Accountable.US is proud to join forces with key partners to shine a light on the corrupt court and demand that it stop putting special interests over everyday Americans," Herrig added.

Some coalition members, including the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), are calling for an expanded Supreme Court.

"CPD has fought hard to hold U.S. Supreme Court justices accountable and expand the high court to stop a conservative majority that serves the interests of the powerful few," the group said. "We're proud to join the United for Democracy coalition at a moment when justices have gotten away with egregious ethical breaches, strong-armed minority and dissenting voices, and ignored the will of the people." 

United for Democracy members include the American Federation of Teachers, Planned Parenthood, League of Conservation Voters, Dēmos, Giffords, National Education Association, Fair Fight, SEIU, NARAL, MoveOn, March for Our Lives, Black Voters Matter Fund, Alliance for Justice, LUCHA, UltraViolet, and many others.

The campaign is also supported by U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a leading congressional proponent of Supreme Court ethics reforms.

(Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams where this article was first published.)

 

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