Messaging Guide: A Justice For the People

folder_openMessage Guide, Research

The purpose of the U.S. Supreme Court is to provide a balance to the powers of our executive and legislative branches and ensure the rights and freedoms of all Amiercans are protected. 

But for years, the deck has been stacked. Republicans in the U.S. Senate have changed the rules to benefit their own elections and helped Republican Presidents seat extreme Justices who pose a threat to our daily freedoms.

Today, we have the opportunity to finally seat a Black woman to the highest court in our nation and protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans, regardless of wealth, power, color or zip code. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will change the court forever. By nominating and appointing a Black woman, our highest court will look a little more like the America we all live in. Judge Brown Jackson has the intellect, integrity and character to serve as an incredible Supreme Court Justice. Her perspective will help the court see us more clearly to direct justice and equality for all. 

Emotion and repetition are powerful tools to use for every message. They help our allies remember the talking points and stay on message, allowing us to speak as a united front and frame the discussion. 

Key Research Takeaways

  • Three in five Americans trust Biden to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice. 
  • Americans say making the Court look more like America and keeping his campaign promises are the best reasons for Biden to nominate a Black woman as the next Justice. 
  • Across race and party, pluralities support the Senate confirming Biden’s nominee and feel the nomination should be considered immediately, before the November election. 
  • Voters are concerned with the conservative agenda of the current Supreme Court. Their number one concern is being denied health insurance due to a preexisting condition if the ACA is overturned. They’re also very concerned people without background checks will be able to buy guns and that the court will severely restrict womens’ rights and access to healthcare by overturning Roe v. Wade
  • Top messages for Judge Brown Jackson’s nomination include her qualifications, experience, and bipartisan praise.
    • Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has the qualifications, character, and dedication to the Constitution necessary to serve on the nation’s highest court
    • Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has experience across the justice system: she has worked as a public defender, served on the bipartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission, and has served as a judge on the District Court and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
    • Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been praised across the aisle, including by Former Speaker Republican Paul Ryan, who said, “Our politics may differ, but my praise for Ketanji’s intellect, for her character, for her integrity is unequivocal”

Key Message Guidance  

  • Our values must lead when framing this issue. It will help our message connect with the audience and avoid losing people in the procedure-heavy Constitutional process of appointing Justices. 
  • We value Justices who will make decisions informed by real-life experiences, and by people who will ensure equal justice for all and protect the rights of all of us, not just the wealthy and powerful. 
  • Emphasize the opportunity and what we stand to gain: 
  • Appointing a Black woman to the Supreme Court will add a critical perspective to right past wrongs and heal our nation. 
  • Seating a Black woman will ensure the Court will more accurately represent the America we look like, changing the lives of Black women and girls around the world. 
  • The Court requires diversity in background and perspective to truly understand the influence wealth and power have on the freedoms of Americans. 
  • With a diverse court, we can finally fight against the power that is attacking our rights and freedoms.
  • By making the court look more like us, Biden has an opportunity to take on corporate greed and protect the rights and freedoms of hard working families in Iowa and across the nation, like making a dignified living wage.

Drafting your message

  • Start with a shared values statement. 
  • Name the problem and define the opposition to our shared value. However, don’t repeat the opposition’s message, even to negate it. Speak proactively to reframe the issue. 
  • Frame the opposition as a “hurdle” we can overcome, rather than a “barrier” that stops us. 
  • Make voters the protagonists and focus on values. 
  • Provide tangible outcomes. 
  • End with a call to action.

Sample Messaging #1

Iowa and the nation are increasingly diverse, our courts should look like us to truly protect the rights and freedoms of us all.Shared Value
But today, our rights and freedoms are being threatened. Our rights to abortion, the polls and to healthcare are in jeopardy. The Supreme Court is stacked against us thanks to Republicans like Senator Grassley. Tie ongoing threat & Define the opposition
Justice Stephen Breyer should be replaced by someone who will continue his legacy of bolstering our civil and human rights. With the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, we’re taking a step towards making our justice system one that respects and reflects the very best of every kind of American. Tie to current events
Jackson has served in prestigious judicial positions with distinction as a champion for everyday Americans, carefully applying the law for working people when the wealthy and powerful few have attempted to trample our rights and deny our freedoms. Celebrate her accomplishments
The Senate must swiftly confirm Jackson as America’s first Black female Supreme Court Justice to help carry out the highest court’s sacred duty to protect our rights, secure our liberties, and render equal justice to all. Call to action

Sample Messaging #2

No matter our color or zip code, Iowans value our rights and freedoms. We know our courts are more balanced and fair when everyone is represented.Shared value 
But Republicans have stacked the deck to make sure they have Justices that will protect the rich, wealthy corporations and those who tried to sabotage our democracy on January 6, 2021. They even defend the insurrectionists who attacked our Capitol, while states across the U.S. work to make it harder for us to vote. Define the opposition
But we turned out in record numbers last November and made our voice heard. Now, President Biden has the opportunity to appoint the first Black woman, making the court look more like us. Highlight tangibles
By appointing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, we can achieve the perspective and diversity on the Court that we need to protect Roe v Wade, fight for a living wage, and preserve access to health care. Outcomes we can achieve
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been praised across the aisle as having incredible intellect, integrity and character. Her nomination should be confirmed immediately to carry out the highest court’s important duties to the American people. Call to action 

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