2023 State of the State Supreme Courts Report - Alliance for Justice

2023 State of the State Supreme Courts Report


This report examines the landscape of state supreme courts across the nation as they decide urgent cases that affect every one of our fundamental rights. While attention to the judiciary is often primarily directed toward the essential work of our federal courts, it is our state courts and state judges that hear the vast majority of cases in the country. These courts serve as an essential defense of our most important rights, including healthcare and reproductive rights, education access and equity, LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, and much more. Unlike our federal courts, voters throughout the country have the critical opportunity to directly vote for the judges that sit on our state courts. Accordingly, it is essential to be informed about the way these courts are structured, who sits on them, how they are selected, and the decisions that they are making.

This report details the current composition of state supreme courts in all 50 states and analyzes key developments from the 2022 election cycle, in addition to important recent state supreme court appointments. This report also examines state supreme court elections in 2023 and 2024 that will have significant implications on the state of democracy for years to come. Lastly, the report highlights notable recent state supreme court cases, detailing a sampling of the wide-ranging impact of state judiciaries on the foundations of our rights and democracy.

As a spectrum of fundamental rights are currently at stake at both the state and federal levels, Alliance for Justice Action Campaign (AFJ Action Campaign) has advocated for the election and appointment of highly qualified, demographically and professionally diverse state court judges who
will uphold equal justice for all. Understanding, protecting, and transforming our state courts is more essential than ever in this fight.