Message from ACS President Russ Feingold
Dear ACS Partners,
Our theme for 2022 was “democracy’s moment of truth.” Looking back at the year, here’s the good news: ACS met the moment. The bad news, and why ACS has never been more important than it is right now: our democracy is not yet in the clear.
Let’s talk about 2022 first, starting with our success in diversifying the federal bench. Over the past several years, ACS has built a national judicial pipeline of diverse, qualified candidates for the federal and state bench with its Path to the Bench Project (PttB), which the White House described this year as “ridiculously helpful” in its unprecedented progress in filling federal court vacancies. To date, President Biden has nominated 142 judges. As of December 9, 95 of whom have already been confirmed, with 75% being women, and 66% being people of color. President Biden’s success in total confirmed judges and in the diversity of those judges was achieved in no small part because of the infrastructure of PttB, and we are just getting started.
The importance of our judicial work became even more pronounced this year by the packed Supreme Court’s litany of devastating decisions. The Court’s conservative supermajority wiped out the federal constitutional right to abortion and sent the fate of abortion rights to the states. This reinforced the impact of us expanding our PttB work to state courts in eight states this year and in our advocacy for Supreme Court reform.
In the face of unprecedented threats to our democracy, we went to work early in the year to sound the alarm about the threat of election subversion. Over 500 ACS supporters took action in the midterm elections, by pledging to serve as poll workers, participating in voter protection efforts, or in non-partisan election related activities. We held national and state programs, produced podcast episodes, and published a litany of digital content urging voters to “vote your full ballot.” With election results now in, we can say with confidence: voters voted their full ballot and in support of democracy and the rule of law!
Our democracy is not out of the woods yet. This is why I am so grateful for ACS, for our network and our chapters, and for our supporters. Your support empowers our ongoing work to diversify the federal courts, vindicate our fundamental freedoms, and safeguard the pillars of our democracy as we look ahead to 2023 and 2024.