Since our founding, our work has helped to prevent the three worst case scenarios of an autocratic presidency.
First, our work helped prevent an autocrat in office, Donald Trump, from rigging our election systems to perpetuate his stay in power indefinitely — as other autocrats have done — to essentially make himself president for life.
Second, our work helped stop Trump from placing himself above the law and freeing himself to engage in criminal acts or other violations of law with impunity.
Third, our work helped blunt Trump’s efforts to abuse the powers of his office to subvert our system of government and of checks and balances.
To achieve these outcomes, we developed dozens upon dozens of strategies, frequently working in partnership with a broad coalition of individuals and organizations. For example, we have:
- Filed more than 100 legal actions that produced a swath of victories, including nationwide injunctions of anti-democratic Trump administration policies, expansions of voting rights protections in federal case law, and new stronger legal doctrines against presidential abuses of power.
- Worked with congressional leadership to craft numerous pieces of critical legislation, often supported by cross-ideological coalitions that we helped assemble.
- Generated thousands of stories in national and local press to help the public understand the threats facing our democracy and the potential solutions, and to serve as pressure points to encourage local and federal officials to do the right thing.
- Organized letters and statements that drove multiple national news cycles, including Department of Justice alumni in defense of the rule of law, historians in defense of the impeachment power, political scientists in opposition to the filibuster, and national security experts in support of accountability and democratic institutions. Our letters on behalf of DOJ alumni alone generated 138 major media stories.
- Assembled the National Task Force on Election Crises, a 50-member cross-ideological body of some of the nation’s leading experts on election administration, voting rights, national security, public health, media, and logistics.
- Built two pieces of software — VoteShield and BallotShield — that are used by Democratic and Republican Secretaries of State around the country.
At a moment when the dangers facing our democracy are existential and a movement to defend our democracy is emerging, Protect Democracy is well positioned to provide critical national infrastructure to this movement.
To learn more about the authoritarian threat to our democracy and what we’ve built to respond to it, read our pamphlet, On Democracy and Authoritarianism: The Present State of American Affairs.