Structural Reform and Governance

Courts and Legal Policy

The Courts and Legal Policy team works to advance reforms to make America’s legal system more accessible and just for ordinary people.

A courtroom in Ohio. (Getty/Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge)

What We're Doing

Ensure America's judges reflect its diversity

Despite recent and historic gains, America’s federal judges remain overwhelmingly white and male, and the bench is stacked with those from corporate law backgrounds and former federal prosecutors. Appointing diverse nominees with diverse backgrounds is essential to strengthening the courts.

Modernize the federal bench at all levels

From significant expansion of the lower courts to instituting term limits for Supreme Court justices, it is critical to enact reforms that will ensure that the size of the judiciary and the makeup of the Supreme Court reflect the needs of the American people and the realities of modern life.

Advance access to justice for all people

Too often, justice in America’s courtrooms is only accessible to those with means and in power. The need to expand access to justice has only become more pressing as COVID-19 has exacerbated long-standing legal inequities. All people, regardless of income or status, deserve high-quality legal help.

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Recent Work

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The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Is Spearheading a Judicial Power Grab Report
A demonstrator holds a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Is Spearheading a Judicial Power Grab

The rogue 5th Circuit Court has helped undermine the separation of powers, established precedent, and principled legal reasoning to accomplish right-wing policy goals; the Supreme Court continuing to follow suit would strip power away from elected representatives and American voters.

Jeevna Sheth, Devon Ombres

Justices’ Trump Ballot Ruling May Spark Constitutional Crisis In the News

Justices’ Trump Ballot Ruling May Spark Constitutional Crisis

Devon Ombres explains why a Supreme Court majority opinion in Anderson v. Trump marks a grave overstep of the court’s authority that could spell a constitutional crisis for this and future elections.

Law360

Devon Ombres

The Relentless Effort To End Agencies’ Ability To Protect Americans Video

The Relentless Effort To End Agencies’ Ability To Protect Americans

In Relentless v. Department of Commerce, the Supreme Court is hearing a case that could hinder the ability of agencies to protect Americans in areas ranging from food and drug safety to safe workplaces, preventing air pollution, and administering Medicare.

Loper Bright and Relentless: Ending Judicial Deference To Cement Judicial Activism in the Courts Report
The U.S. Supreme Court reflected in a stanchion

Loper Bright and Relentless: Ending Judicial Deference To Cement Judicial Activism in the Courts

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases that could limit the federal government’s ability to serve the American people, giving unelected judges free rein to implement their own partisan policy agendas and disregard scientific analysis, the opinions of policy experts, and the will of Congress.

Jeevna Sheth, Devon Ombres

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