Trip Van Noppen

Trip Van Noppen is President of Earthjustice.

Recent Articles

Reclaim the Courts

This piece is part of the Prospect' s series on progressives' strategy over the next 40 years. To read the introduction, click here . Lewis Powell built much of his strategic advice to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the premise that “the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic, and political change.” Powell was both making an observation about the decades preceding his memo and issuing a call to arms to his corporate audience about the strategic prominence the courts should be given within a broader set of goals. Through the early 1970s, the courts led the way in dismantling the legal structure of racial segregation in marriage, education, and housing, enforcing the separation of church and state, guaranteeing the right to vote, overturning bans on contraception and abortion, and expanding consumers’ rights. The courts recognized that citizens’ noneconomic values—matters such as liberty and privacy and protecting the...