National Guides

Our democracy should be of the people, by the people, and for the people. But thanks to years of gerrymandering, partisan gridlock, the sharp increase in extremist conservative activism within the courts, attacks against democratic institutions, and the gutting of our fundamental rights—that democracy is shifting to being of, by, and for the wealthy and the few. 

The relentless attacks against our democracy are happening across the country at both the federal and state levels. Just last year, extremists in state legislatures enacted a near-record number of restrictive voting laws. These attempts to restrict voting rights impede accountability for elected leaders and judges and make it harder for voters to have a say in how our communities are governed. We can’t have a true and functioning democracy when women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ communities are seeing their rights eroded and attacked.

Leaders in all branches and at all levels of government should be committed to advancing gender justice as well as protecting our democratic institutions and our system of checks and balances to ensure no branch acts with impunity. Instead, we have seen the systematic dismantling of many of our democratic institutions, led by conservative extremists. This includes the capture of our federal courts by extremist judges who time and time again have proven they are incapable of holding themselves accountable to a basic ethical standard.

We already know that Supreme Court Justices, like Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, have accepted far-right megadonors’ exorbitant gifts for years without publicly disclosing them and not recused themselves in cases where those same megadonors’ interests are before the Court. And now, with news of a ‘Stop the Steal’ flag flying at Justice Alito’s home in 2021—a blatant political statement denying the 2020 election results—as the Court heard cases related to Trump’s false election claims, it is impossible for the public to believe he has served or can serve impartially in those cases.

A true democracy is one in which every person has equal protection under our laws, can fully participate in our democratic systems, and has an equal opportunity to thrive—regardless of their gender identity, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

This election and beyond, leaders must prioritize strengthening our democracy and judicial ethics, restoring fundamental protections and civil rights, and actively working to restore and prevent future threats to our democratic systems.

Our 2024 Democracy Agenda:

  • 1.

    Protect and expand access to the ballot and restore the Voting Rights Act, including by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

  • 2.

    Unrig our democracy by abolishing the filibuster, an old U.S. Senate rule that has been used for decades to block critical civil rights and reproductive rights legislation. 

  • 3.

    Hold Supreme Court justices accountable by passing the Judicial Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act to create stronger recusal standards,  an enforceable code of conduct, and ban exorbitant gifts to Justices.

  • 4.

    Reshape the makeup of our federal judiciary by nominating and confirming judges with a strong record of supporting gender and racial justice issues and who affirmatively declare they will uphold equality, opportunity for all, individual liberty, and the freedom to make personal decisions about our bodies and relationships.

Questions to ask federal candidates:

  • 1.

    Can you commit to supporting policies ensuring all eligible voters have equal access to register to vote, cast a ballot, and have that ballot counted fairly?

  • 2.

    Have you endorsed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act? If not, will you promise to endorse and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act during its next introduction and other efforts to fully restore the Voting Rights Act?

  • 3.

    Will you commit to recommending candidates for federal judgeships and public defender offices who are committed to equality, freedom, opportunity for all, and individual liberty and rights that uphold individuals’ abilities to make personal decisions about their bodies and relationships?

  • 4.

    Can you promise to advocate for and vote to pass the Judicial Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act?

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