Press Releases

Unrig the Courts Coalition Sends Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Ahead of ‘Shadow Docket’ Hearing; Demands Additional Hearing on Expansion

SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

Anushka Sarkar, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Unrig the Courts Coalition sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Subcommittee Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) ahead of today’s hearing on the Supreme Court’s ‘shadow docket,’ calling on the committee to hold an additional hearing as soon as possible about Supreme Court expansion. The letter thanks the senators and the Judiciary Committee for holding a hearing on the shadow docket, a secretive process that allows the court to issue major rulings on critical issues without even having to sign their names to their decisions. But the letter emphasizes that reforming the shadow docket and increasing transparency within the courts is not enough.

Read the letter here.

“Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the ‘shadow docket’ is an important signal that senators understand how broken our Supreme Court really is, but the hearing alone will not solve the crisis of partisanship destroying the court,” said Brett Edkins, Political Director of Stand Up America, a core partner of the Unrig the Courts coalition. “It’s time for Congress to unrig the courts and pass the Judiciary Act to add 4 seats to the Supreme Court—there’s too much on the line to stop at a committee hearing.”

“It is true that the very concept of the ‘shadow docket’ is at odds with a functional Supreme Court that is supposed to uphold the law and the Constitution, not hide their decision making process from the very people affected by their rulings,” said Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Director of Democracy Policy for Indivisible and a founder of the Unrig the Courts coalition. “While our coalition welcomes a hearing into this critical transparency issue, fixing the shadow docket doesn’t address the foundational problem with the current iteration of the Supreme Court: they are partisans working toward partisan political goals. This summer’s rulings issued from the shadow docket, including one that effectively banned abortions in the state of Texas, had less to do with Supreme Court processes and everything to do with the fact that the Court is stacked with conservative extremists who will overturn Americans’ constitutional rights whenever they can.”

The Unrig the Courts coalition is a collection of progressive organizations, including Demos Action, Just Democracy, People’s Parity Project, Stand Up America, Take Back the Court, as well as Indivisible. The coalition is dedicated to restoring balance to the federal courts through a series of judicial reforms, most importantly Supreme Court expansion.

To reach a spokesperson, please contact Anushka Sarkar at [email protected]

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About Stand Up America
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with over two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to stand up to corruption and voter suppression and build a more representative democracy, Stand Up America has driven over 1.6 million calls to lawmakers, registered tens of thousands of voters, mobilized thousands of protestors, and contacted tens of millions of voters.

About The Indivisible Project
The Indivisible Project (501c4) is a social movement non-profit driven by a vision of a real democracy – of, by, and for the people. Indivisible began in 2016 as a viral guide to resisting Trump’s agenda. Today, the Indivisible movement is a network of thousands of local groups and millions of activists across every state. The Indivisible Project drives campaigns for bold progressive policies, lobbies Congress, and equips activists with tools to build lasting progressive power, everywhere. Together, we fight to defeat the rightwing takeover of American government and build an inclusive democracy.

Twitter: @StandUpAmerica
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Facebook: @StandUpAmerica