To Fight the Supreme Court, Build the Bench

Op-ed

Rakim Brooks


This excerpt is from a piece by Rakim Brooks that originally ran in Democracy Docket on August 8, 2023.

Movement lawyers are lawyers who have dedicated their work to the common good, sometimes called public interest litigators. They represent the best of our legal profession because they defend our freedoms to vote and to access the health care we deserve, fight for our right to a fair trial and against a racist and deeply flawed criminal justice system and advocate to protect our environment and those who are harmed when corporations put profits over people. Truly, they are the lawyers who should be serving as lifetime judges guarding our public trust in the rule of law.

For generations, they were kept off of our federal benches. Their work was somehow too controversial for confirmation. A Washington consensus had formed suggesting the only paths to being a judge were through a career at an elite law firm or as a prosecutor. So, our brightest lights could never bring their legal luminescence to judging. What’s more, they could not insert their well-honed views of the Constitution into our public law. 

Read the complete piece.