Piper Fund

Conquering the Courts: The Religious Right’s Fight to Rig the Rules and Undermine Judicial Independence

The ouster of three justices from Iowa’s Supreme Court in 2010, as retaliation for a unanimous decision overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, sent shock waves through courts across the country. But it was just one battle in a long-term, well-funded, and highly organized crusade by Christian right groups to undermine rights by assailing the independence of America’s judiciary.

The religious right and its political strategists have recognized the importance of the courts for advancing its social agenda and world view for decades. James Bopp, an Indiana lawyer and former Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee, has effectively married the interests of partisan and corporate actors with conservative religious groups to mount a relentless attack on the walls that protect judges from popular pressures—merit selection, campaign finance laws, and judicial codes of conduct that limit what judges can say about their views on legal issues.

Drafted by the Center for Media and Democracy, this is an unprecedented study on the efforts of James Bopp Jr., mastermind of Citizens United, and far Christian Right groups to undermine the independence of America’s judiciary in order to advance their agenda.

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