RELEASE: Structural Reforms Can Restore Independence and Fairness to Federal Judiciary, CAP Report Says

Washington, D.C. — The federal judiciary has hit a crisis point that requires changes to how the courts operate and how cases are brought before them, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.

Conservatives have shown a willingness to abandon any and all norms in order to undermine the judicial nominations process and pack the courts with judges who will help them realize political goals that they cannot achieve through the political process. The report argues that progressives need to consider structural reforms to combat the ideological bias of the courts.

The report discusses the strengths and weaknesses of several proposals, including changing the structure of the Supreme Court by adding justices and creating a rotating panel of justices. Other proposals include reducing the influence of ideologue judges through term limits and changes to improve judicial accountability.

The report also addresses how to eliminate judicial and legislative roadblocks that curtail access to justice for society’s most vulnerable and rig the system in favor of the wealthy and powerful, including forced arbitration and limitations on private rights of action.

“Conservatives have manipulated the process so that courts increasingly serve special interests and powerful corporations at the expense of everyday Americans,” said Sam Berger, vice president of Democracy and Government Reform at CAP and a co-author of the report. “But a fair-minded, independent judiciary can be restored if lawmakers are willing to make necessary and significant structural changes, including those discussed in this report.”

Read the report: “Structural Reforms to the Federal Judiciary: Restoring Independence and Fairness to the Courts” by Danielle Root and Sam Berger.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at  or 202.478.6327.