Policy Reform Now: Why State Supreme Courts are so Important
This excerpt is from a piece that originally ran on August 18, 2023.
“State supreme courts and state courts generally are having kind of their shining moment. People are fired up about the courts, you know, with Dobbs and other egregious rulings from the Supreme Court. Folks are really paying more attention to state courts. Wisconsin is the perfect example,” Rachel Bracken, a regional state courts manager with the Alliance for Justice, a group that encourages courts to be composed of those who reflect the people.
In Wisconsin, surging youth turnout helped fuel a win earlier this year for Justice Janet Protasiewicz, whose election flipped the court to a liberal majority, helping the state to restore a functioning democracy. With a Democratic governor and favorable state supreme court majority, the nation’s most extreme partisan gerrymandering (North Carolina is second) and an 1849 abortion ban appear to be headed for the chopping block.
“Our democracy and voting rights, in addition to reproductive rights and abortion access are key motivators for folks. That’s where I feel like a lot of people can really see the most direct impact on their lives,” said Ms. Bracken.