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.

Recent Work

Latest

Ari Berman: A Green Light to Gerrymander Podcast
 (The Thinking CAP podcast logo, a yellow neon cap against a black background with the word

Ari Berman: A Green Light to Gerrymander

Daniella and Ed chat with Mother Jones Senior Reporter Ari Berman this week about gerrymandering, the 2020 census, and the state of voting rights in the United States.

Daniella Gibbs Léger, Ed Chung, Kyle Epstein, 1 More Chris Ford

BONUS EPISODE: Jeffrey Toobin on Brett Kavanaugh’s #MeToo Moment Podcast
 (The Thinking CAP podcast logo, a yellow neon cap against a black background with the word

BONUS EPISODE: Jeffrey Toobin on Brett Kavanaugh’s #MeToo Moment

This week, Daniella and Ed speak with CNN's Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin about the new sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Paul Manafort's plea deal, and the extraordinary life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Daniella Gibbs Léger, Ed Chung, Rachel Rosen, 1 More Kyle Epstein

Jason Kander Goes Outside the Wire Podcast
 (The Thinking CAP podcast logo, a yellow neon cap against a black background with the word

Jason Kander Goes Outside the Wire

Hosts Daniella and Ed chat with Jason Kander, founder of the voting rights advocacy group Let America Vote, about his new book and the Nike ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.

Daniella Gibbs Léger, Ed Chung, Kyle Epstein

RBG Podcast
 (The Thinking CAP podcast logo, a yellow neon cap against a black background with the word

RBG

Michele sits down with three guests and discusses cases that are currently on the docket and their potential repercussions for progressive values, as well as "RBG," a new film about the influential justice's life.

Michele L. Jawando, Sally Tucker, Rachel Rosen

The Pennsylvania District Shaped Like Goofy Kicking Donald Duck Podcast
 (The Thinking CAP podcast logo, a yellow neon cap against a black background with the word

The Pennsylvania District Shaped Like Goofy Kicking Donald Duck

Igor speaks with his guests about Pennsylvania's gerrymandered congressional map and the harmful effects on communities of color.

Igor Volsky, Sally Tucker, Rachel Rosen

Stuffing the Courts Podcast
 (The Thinking CAP podcast logo, a yellow neon cap against a black background with the word

Stuffing the Courts

This week, Michele and Igor sit down with three guests to discuss President Trump's aggressive strategy of filling federal and lower courts with predominantly white male judges.

Michele L. Jawando, Igor Volsky, Sally Tucker, 1 More Rachel Rosen

The Myth of Voter Fraud Podcast

The Myth of Voter Fraud

This week, Thinking CAP talks voter suppression and discusses the North Carolina case shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday and Trump’s independent voter fraud commission.

Michele L. Jawando, Igor Volsky, Sally Tucker, 1 More Rachel Rosen