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Assaults on the Courts

Politicians are increasingly threatening the independence and legitimacy of the judiciary. The Brennan Center is tracking these attacks and working to promote the rule of law.


With our demo­cracy under attack, the courts are on the front lines.

Our demo­cracy depends on fair and inde­pend­ent courts to protect against abuses of power, provide checks and balances, and admin­is­ter justice without regard to outside pres­sures. Yet many state courts have been threatened by polit­ical power grabs, with legis­latures intro­du­cing meas­ures that would politi­cize judi­cial selec­tion, dimin­ish the role or inde­pend­ence of the judi­ciary, or make it harder for judges to do their job. 

These threats arise in the context of broader assaults on the rule of law, our demo­cracy, and the insti­tu­tions designed to protect them. 

The Bren­nan Center works to defend the rule of law when courts are under attack. We also track state legis­lat­ive efforts to weaken or politi­cize the courts and bring together experts to assess the nature and extent of current threats to the judi­ciary.

Our Experts