September 28, 2022

The Packed U.S. Supreme Court Poised to Inflict More Harm with Its New Term

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez,

Washington, DC — The U.S. Supreme Court’s new term starts on Monday, October 3. This is poised to be a highly consequential term for our democracy and our fundamental rights with cases on the Court’s docket that could significantly threaten both. Similarly, this will be a consequential term for the Supreme Court’s own credibility. Public confidence in the Court has declined significantly in recent years, including during the Court’s last term when the conservative supermajority wiped out the federal constitutional right to abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. The Court risks further eroding public confidence depending on its decisions this term.

The Court’s docket includes cases in which the conservative supermajority could imperil the guardrails of our democracy (Merrill v. Milligan and Moore v. Harper); limit the ability to redress historic and persistent systemic racism (Students for Fair Admissions Inc v. Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions Inc v. University of North Carolina); undo efforts to preserve and strengthen Native American families (Haaland v. Brackeen); gut critical civil rights and anti-discrimination protections (303 Creative LLC v. Elenis); and make it even more difficult for those on death row or otherwise in prison to vindicate their rights (Cruz v. Arizona and Reed v. Goertz).

“The Supreme Court is in a full-fledged legitimacy crisis as a result of the Right’s packing it with conservative ideologues who are using our highest court to advance an extreme partisan agenda,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “The public’s confidence in the Court has been tumbling year over year in the wake of increasingly egregious and partisan decisions. Rather than looking to our highest court as the ultimate safeguard of our civil rights and the rule of law, we must brace for what further damage to our civil rights, our democracy, and to the rule of law this Court is poised to unleash in its new term.”

“While we very much look forward to the contributions of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her first term on the Supreme Court, it is a term that is again likely to be dominated by the Court’s conservative supermajority and its partisan agenda,” said ACS Executive Vice President Zinelle October. “This country is still reeling from the devastating impact of the Court’s last term, and now, just a few months later, we are confronting a new term with equal potential to blow past precedent, erode civil rights, and endanger the guardrails of our democracy. ACS renews its supports for structural and non-structural Supreme Court reform to redress the Right’s packing and the devastating harm it is inflicting on millions of people’s lives, and to restore the Court’s legitimacy.”

The American Constitution Society tracks closely each Supreme Court term and has staff who are experts on many of the issues being raised. These include:

  • Russ Feingold, ACS President: Supreme Court trends, including the need for Supreme Court reform.
  • Christopher Wright Durocher, ACS Vice President of Policy and Program: criminal legal reform, death penalty, and LGBTQIA+ rights.
  • Lindsay Langholz, ACS Director of Policy and Program: democracy, voting rights, election security, and reproductive rights.

Media interested in interviews with ACS experts should contact ACS Director of Communication Nancy Rodriguez at


ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at or on Twitter @acslaw.