As young people, our social, economic, and political futures are shaped greatly by the courts. Whether in our favor, or against us, the decisions made in the courtroom have and will continue to impact young people and marginalized communities for decades.
This is why it matters WHO is making those decisions.
Judges on the federal bench are nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate to hold LIFETIME appointments. All of these nominations, including Trump’s recent extremely conservative Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, must be confirmed or rejected by our Senators. It’s up to us to hold them accountable to filling the courts with judges that will stand up for our lives, not threaten them.
And there couldn’t be a better time to do this. We are now the largest voting bloc in the country, and midterm elections are just around the corner.
THE COURTS IMPACT ALL OF OUR LIVES
“We remained hopeful that justice would be served, and that we could finally live a peaceful life; however, just two months after oral arguments were heard, news broke of their decision: a tie. The Supreme Court was deadlocked by a 4-4 vote, upholding the appeals court decision and shutting down DAPA. We were devastated, once again, and found ourselves back in the same scenario: surviving the best we could. It was a stark reminder of the power of courts, and how lives can either be brought together or torn apart as a result.”
“As a Black, gay man of color, I cannot overlook how much work has been done by this legal system in this country to promote the acceptance and normalization of literally all of my identities. There is no part of me that has not been touched by the mighty powers of our courts, from the places I can go while in public, doors I am allowed to enter businesses with, and even my freedom to marry whomever I so choose. However, there has been a very clear and tangible shift in the direction in which the courts are taking.”
“When I look back, the hardest part of my abortion was accessing it. I continue to carry the stigma of having abortion. I never thought I could get pregnant, and lost so many old friends who blamed me for putting myself in this situation. When I needed support the most, I only received backlash. A year later now, I know that this was the right decision for me. Attacks on any aspect of abortion access, whether it’s insurance bans, week-specific bans, or the overturning of Roe v. Wade, terrifies me.”
“Who is makes these decisions in the court room is critical to me, because access to the ballot box is a matter of life or death for my community. By voting on elected offices that have the power to impact our livelihood, my access to the ballot determines life outcomes. So let’s be clear: judges that uphold voter suppression aren’t just threatening my voting rights, they are threatening my life.As the nation selects its next Supreme Court justice, we are defining lives for decades. The decisions this judge will make have the capacity to safeguard the progress we have made as a nation, or turn back the clock on voting rights for young women of color like me.”
“As the war intensified my mother soon realized staying was no longer an option for our family; we were forced to leave at a moment’s notice or face persecution because of our identities. By the time I was 5 years old my mother, brother and I had finally ended up in the United States. Eventually, my father joined us and we were reunited, once again. We built a home here in America and were lucky enough to find a nation that accepted us regardless of our race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. Every day I am thankful that my adopted home, the United States, gave my family the opportunity to build a life here free from the persecution. Yet, I now fear that this may no longer be the case for other families facing crisis abroad that have nowhere else to turn.”
“I am the daughter of two Black African migrant Muslim parents. The most important issues to me are Black Lives Matter and Immigration. Many people seem to think that immigration isn’t a Black issue, but it is. You can see it with Haitians and their struggle for TPS, and you can see it with the struggles of Black African Muslims with the Muslim Ban. When many Muslim leaders were trying to work with lower courts to appeal the Muslim Ban, the Supreme Court decided to side with Trump and validate their racist logic, furthering more Islamophobia and anti-blackness. We need to be aware about the issues happening on the ground and who it impacts the most. “
“132 years ago, a panel of 9 Supreme Court Justices made a decision that would impact the lives of millions of immigrants and members of marginalized communities for centuries. Today the decisions made in the Supreme Court have the potential to impact our lives and the future of our communities for the next 132 years. Whoever fills the Supreme Court vacancy will make decisions that directly impact my life as an immigrant in this country, and I need a Justice that will rule in my favor, not against me. It’s not just my life and my future that is at stake, it’s also the lives and survival of future immigrant communities that will come after me.”
“Since colonial contact,our land, our communities, and our women have been abused by colonial technologies, especially the courts. […] We should feel confident in the ones that ones [judges] that are sitting in those seats. They should be the ones who uphold nation to nation sovereignty in a peaceful manner, they should be the ones who understand whose land they’re on and that we’re [indigenous people] are still here. They should be upholding our existence instead of threatening it. “
“I think it’s important to have diverse judges in our court system because different viewpoints, perspectives, and personalities lead to different opinions. As a brown person of color, and as a Latina, if I have a judge in front of me that is cisgender, white, and male, they don’t know my struggles, they don’t know what i’m going through, and they don’t know the support and resources to help me. But if we have someone else that knows what my struggle is, someone that has been through my shoes personally, they know how to help me out. It’s really important that we have judges with different perspectives because the more diversity we have, the better the world will be for all of us.”
“I am Puerto Rican. Right now, there is a vacancy on the federal bench that hasn’t been filled in two years. I need to know that the person who is going to take that seat is going to be listening to my people, my family, their struggles, and their needs to help my people keep moving forward, so that [Puerto Rico] is not forgotten about. “
SHARE YOUR STORY
Share how the courts have impacted your life or that of your community through the #OurCourtsOurLives hashtag to join a national conversation to demand judges that will stand up for our lives.