Fighting for Fair Courts

March 11, 2016

As the influence of corporate and special interest money in judicial campaigns grows, a robust, nimble and smart fair courts movement infrastructure is needed more than ever. The ideal of judicial independence is at the very heart of our faith in checks and balances, and increased awareness around this fight is crucial for the future of our democracy.

Wellstone has been partnering with Justice at Stake and organizers across the country in the fight for fair courts. Along the way, we're helping to change and reshape the conversation among organizers and activists, expanding this work out from within the legal community.

Wellstone trainer Adriana Barboza describes an 'Ah ha!' moment she's experienced with many grassroots organizers: "There has to be a lot of public education around the role of the courts and the critical importance of a fair and impartial judicial system."

In response to the need we're seeing, Wellstone will be rolling out a number of targeted trainings in 2016 including a "Fair Courts 101" to help advocates and grassroots organizers understand what a fair court system looks like, and how that need impacts the work they are already doing.

"We're focused on coalition building that is strategic, intentional and collaborative," says Adriana. She emphasizes how easily a compromised system can disenfranchise people of color, and the importance of diversity on the bench and describes the need for a focus on public education, "Money and the courts is very connected, more-so than most people think."

We’re building national capacity in convenings, and then we’re diving into the toughest on-the-ground battles to win fair courts starting with the states where our democracy is most at risk.

The rules of the game are stacked against progress. And the very foundation of America’s democracy is at stake.

As Wellstone fights to reclaim and expand our democracy, we’re starting by defending the courts. We’re doing it by strategically marshaling our movement’s resources, innovating alongside leading organizations, building coalitions, and raising our voices. We’re doing it the Wellstone Way.