The United States is approaching a potentially ground-breaking election in which the Judicial Branch—the Supreme Court in particular—will play a vital role. In light of what is at stake, the need for constitutional protections is greater than ever. However, we are currently living in a time where civic engagement is at an alarmingly low level. Less than half of the voting-eligible population voted in the 2022 House elections. See “Turnout in 2022 House midterms declined from 2018 high, final official returns show” Pew Research Center. A recent survey conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) found that less than one-third of Americans could not name a single enumerated right protected by the First Amendment and only 40% of Americans could name one enumerated right. See “Do Americans know their rights? Survey says: No” FIRE. Public trust in the federal government is at a record low following modest increases in 2020 and 2021. See “Public Trust in Government: 1953-2023” Pew Research Center. Thus, the path to protecting the constitution must begin with civil education and empowering youths to be knowledgeable an active participants in our democracy.

Defending the Constitution Is More Important Than Ever Before

The current political landscape illustrates why the need to protect the Constitution is greater than ever. On Jan. 6, 2020, hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., in an effort to keep Trump in power by preventing Congress from counting the Electoral College votes. Furthermore, after Trump lost the 2020 election, he and many of his fellow supporters filed dozens of lawsuits alleging voter fraud in the 2020 election in an attempt to overturn the election results. Currently, with the 2024 Presidential Election on the horizon, courts across the United States are analyzing their laws and procedures for determining whether or not Trump is eligible to re-run for president under the 14th Amendment. Given the magnitude of the impact these decisions may play in shaping the state of our democracy, it is imperative that the policies and procedures created to protect against future constitutional attacks are followed.

The Judicial Branch as the First Line of Defense Against Constitutional Threats