The Fair Courts Campaign fights for an impartial and independent federal judiciary that protects the civil and human rights of all
The Fair Courts Campaign
The federal courts are profoundly important to securing our rights and freedoms in America. Whether you are concerned with health care, racial justice, women’s freedom, LGBTQ equality, disability rights, protections for immigrants, or access to the ballot box, the judiciary plays a critical role in protecting and defending our civil and human rights.
For our democracy to work as it should, judges must be fair, impartial, and committed to achieving the promise inscribed on the Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.” That is why The Leadership Conference launched the Fair Courts Campaign, which draws critical connections between the federal courts and what is at stake in people’s everyday lives.
Now, as the Trump administration and Senate Republicans are trying to transform the courts by selecting an unprecedented number of extremist, anti-civil rights nominees, it is more important than ever to demand a federal judiciary that will uphold rights of all people in America.
Together with our coalition members and the Fair Courts Task Force, we educate the public about the impact of federal courts, evaluate the civil rights records of federal judicial nominees, talk to decision makers, and mobilize public participation in defense of a judiciary that recognizes and protects the rights of all people.
We work with Congress to demand the federal courts recognize and uphold civil rights. Both chambers of Congress must be vigilant in performing their respective duties: Senators must reject nominees who jeopardize the integrity of our judicial system, and representatives must be vocal advocates for fair and independent courts.
We build strategies to empower diverse community voices in the fight for our federal courts. By leveraging our coalition’s strength and organizing from the local to national levels, we are building a new constituency of leaders, holding officials accountable, and bringing to light the courts’ impact on the issues that matter most.
Shaping the Narrative
We know that if you care about protecting civil and human rights, then you need to care about our federal courts. That is why — by leveraging online and digital tools — we are breaking new ground in creative storytelling to illustrate what is at stake in the fight for a fair and impartial judiciary.
Graham’s Priorities are Wrong: Focus on the National Crises, Not Advancing an Unfit Nominee
WASHINGTON – Lena Zwarensteyn, Fair Courts Campaign Director at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to advance the nomination of Justin Walker to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit:
This Week in Judicial Nominations – 5/18
The House-passed COVID-19 relief package answers the call of civil rights groups to lift and protect the hardest hit communities and our democratic institutions as this pandemic continues to wreak havoc on economic security, health, families, and lives. It is now up to the Senate to act.
Schwartz’s Writings Demonstrate Deeply Disturbing Beliefs
“It’s irresponsible that Chairman Graham convened the committee to continue churning out Trump and McConnell’s extreme judicial nominees while ignoring the devastating shock this pandemic is having on our country. As too many people need more relief, it is shameful that the Senate is spending time on a nominee like Schwartz, who has dedicated his career to defending some of the most extreme voting rights restrictions and anti-LGBTQ measures. His recently revealed offensive college writings make clear that his beliefs extend well beyond his legal arguments.
Letters of Opposition
While the president nominates candidates for the federal bench, senators are entrusted to provide thorough vetting of nominees. When a nominee’s record indicates they would not uphold civil rights or serve as a fair and independent judge, we submit a letter to the Senate detailing our concerns and opposition.
Trump’s Judicial Nominees Refuse to Say Brown v. Board of Education Was Correctly Decided
In May 2019, our nation commemorated the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that struck down the shameful doctrine of ‘separate but equal.’ And yet, the president has nominated dozens of people for lifetime positions on our federal courts who refuse to state that Brown was correctly decided — and the Senate continues to confirm them. This is appalling. Our leaders are failing to set the most minimal of standards for judicial nominees.
The Leadership Conference is calling on senators to demand that nominees clarify their answers for the record. If they fail to do so, senators must oppose their nominations.
The Leadership Conference coalition has spent decades defending fair and impartial federal courts. As such, we have a trove of resources available online, from policy papers to advocacy and educational materials to media and creative content. Check out our resource library to learn more about the federal judiciary.