Judicial Strategy

CGRE supports efforts that utilize state courts to advance gender, reproductive, and racial equity. We push to ensure that state courts are a strong and fair safeguard for reproductive rights and gender equity and reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

With the federal judiciary dominated by judges hostile to gender, reproductive, and racial equity, advocates can no longer rely on federal courts to advance legal protections or stop harmful laws. New tools are needed to protect and advance civil rights outside of the federal structure.

CGRE’s judicial strategy supports organizations and leaders working to develop new pathways for advancing gender, reproductive, and racial equity through the power of state courts. State courts are a major and under-resourced opportunity. This informs our focus, ensuring that state courts are positioned to enshrine rights at the state level and advance an equity agenda.

We prioritize partners that focus on increasing civic engagement, educating and empowering others to utilize state courts in their power-building efforts, and incorporating impact litigation strategies.

Developing Proactive Litigation Strategies

Our grantee partners, Gender Justice and The Lawyering Project, won a landmark court case in 2022, which not only ruled that numerous Minnesota abortion restrictions are unconstitutional but also permanently blocked their enforcement. The case was a catalyst that helped launch the UnRestrict Minnesota coalition, which used the case to build a bigger movement for reproductive rights and justice in the state.

CGRE supports Gender Justice’s impact litigation strategy, which brings a movement-based approach to litigation, including partnership and coalition building, policy advocacy, and public education to utilize state courts as a pathway to advance gender and reproductive rights. This model recognizes community education and engagement are required to change the way we talk and think about gender equity.

“CGRE provided critical support for the Alliance for Justice’s State Court Justice Project allowing us to further build out the State Court Justice Project Hub, educate the public about the importance of state courts, and channel this work into developing new coalitions dedicated to driving voter turnout in state supreme court elections." Rakim Brooks, President, Alliance for Justice