Defending the Rule of Law

Our Work

In the 21st Century, democracies have tended to die not at the barrel of a gun but by the gradual erosion of democratic norms and guardrails.

Why Is This Important

Would-be authoritarians often abuse their power, using it to eliminate checks on their power, quash dissent, target already marginalized communities, and deepen political divisions.

The Constitution and the laws we have built around it provide tools to constrain authoritarian behavior. But many of the norms and guardrails that help define our democracy are not written into law and are not self-enforcing. Together these restraints must be exercised (and strengthened) to prevent government officials from abusing their power and to ensure the law applies equally to everyone, from the most powerful to the least.

What Outcomes Do We Seek

  1. Uphold the principle that nobody is above the law.
  2. Ensure accountability for those who have attacked or undermined our democracy—regardless of their political standing.
  3. Ensure meaningful checks and balances on executive power.
  4. Stop abuses of power that target marginalized groups and their ability to participate in democracy.
  5. Protect the ability of the public and the press to voice dissenting views.
  6. Protect independent, non-politicized law enforcement and civil servant workforces.

What Impact Have We Had

Secured a nationwide injunction blocking border wall construction without congressional approval and helped enact power of the purse legislation to ensure future presidents cannot circumvent Congress.

Helped prevent a sitting president from politicizing the Department of Justice to interfere in an election, in part through a multi-year campaign organizing thousands of Department of Justice alumni.

The 117th Congress Left American Democracy Stronger Than It Found It

With advances on ECA reform and other democracy legislation, a departing Congress leaves American democracy in slightly better shape than it found it for the first time in over a decade.

  • Defending the Rule of Law
  • Protecting Elections
  • Legislation & Policy
  • Research & Analysis
  • Analysis

Three Huge Wins for Democracy in 2022

An extensive recounting of how we achieved three of our top priorities for 2022: reforming the Electoral Count Act, ensuring accountability for January 6th, and combatting disinformation in court.

  • Countering Disinformation
  • Defending the Rule of Law
  • Protecting Elections
  • Campaigns & Coalitions
  • Legislation & Policy
  • Litigation
  • Research & Analysis

The January 6 Committee Was a Boon to Democracy

Despite severe limitations and outsized expectations, the official investigation into the attack on the Capitol achieved the same measure of success as other similar inquiries.

  • Defending the Rule of Law
  • Research & Analysis
  • Op-Ed