WASHINGTON, D.C., March 31, 2023 – Today the Alliance for Justice Action Campaign issued its inaugural 2023 State of the State Supreme Courts report, an in-depth look at the current developments in state supreme courts across all 50 states.
State courts hear the majority of court cases in the United States, with 95% of all lawsuits being filed in state courts. With the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to uphold important protections for abortion, voting rights, and other core democratic freedoms, state supreme courts are becoming an even more important buttress for justice.
AFJ Action’s new report reviews all of 2022’s 30 state supreme court elections and the impact they had on the landscape of these courts. It also previews the important races happening this year in Wisconsin (next week) and Pennsylvania (in November) and in another 32 states in 2024. At least 76 seats across the country will hang in the balance as voters go to the polls, and it is essential that they are just as informed about these state courts races as they are about the presidential and congressional ones.
To drive home the impact of state courts, the report also highlights recent notable state supreme court cases, some of which have been essential to protecting people’s freedoms and some of which have restricted those rights.
Jake Faleschini, AFJ Action Legal Director for State Courts, issued the following statement:
“It is more crucial than ever that people across the country understand how their state courts work and how their judges and justices are selected. Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, many states elect their jurists, handing voters direct control over the rule of law in their state. Dobbs was a wake-up call that we cannot take our rights and freedoms for granted. We all have a role to play in ensuring that our courts are committed to equal rights and justice for all. This report provides a first-of-its-kind look at the landscape of our state courts, and we hope it will be a useful tool in helping voters appreciate the importance of these courts and the role they play in them.”