Lower Federal Courts

GOP Obstruction of the DC Circuit: Infographics

Share these infographics to help set the record straight on the DC Circuit.

The Critically Important DC Circuit Court

Despite progressive victories in 2012, the Right’s outsized influence on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gives it the power to undermine progressive laws and thwart the agenda that Americans elected President Obama to pursue.

Ted Cruz Vows to Damage Texas Courts in Response to Obama's Immigration Action

Ted Cruz urges a retaliatory freeze on all confirmations next year, which would cause particular damage to courts in his own state.
PFAW

Reid: We Cannot Leave Without Confirming Nominees

The Senate needs to vote on numerous judicial and executive nominations before the end of the lame duck session.
PFAW

Welcome Back, Senate, It's Time to Get to Work

There is more than enough time during the lame duck to confirm President Obama's nominees.
PFAW

Fifth Circuit's Voter ID Decision Shows the Attitude of Bush's Judges

What is the public interest in enforcing a voting law that was found to have been passed with the intent to discriminate?
PFAW Foundation

Did a Nevada Federal Judge Let Personal Beliefs Affect His Marriage Ruling?

Why did the federal district judge who'd upheld Nevada's marriage ban remove himself from the case when the 9th Circuit ordered him to implement its pro-equality decision?
PFAW Foundation

Texas Judge Could Teach the Roberts Court a Thing or Two

A Texas federal judge strikes down that state's restrictive voter ID law as intentionally discriminatory.
PFAW Foundation

Another Nail in the Coffin for Baker v. Nelson

The Supreme Court's decision not to hear marriage equality appeals may have an important substantive effect on the law.
PFAW Foundation

A New Reason to Confirm Texas Judicial Nominees This Fall

Yet another of Texas's federal court vacancies has officially been designated a judicial emergency.
PFAW

7th Circuit Says Arguments Against Marriage Equality "Cannot Be Taken Seriously"

Reagan judge Richard Posner concludes that the argument against marriage equality "is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously."
PFAW Foundation

Louisiana's Marriage Ban Is Upheld By Judge Citing "Lifestyle Choices"

A judge nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1983 writes an opinion that is a throwback to that earlier and less equal time.
PFAW Foundation

Senators Should Watch This Video from the Federal Judiciary

Senators who attack nominees for representing criminals in court could use this lesson from America's federal judges.
PFAW

GOP Forces Cloture Petition on 100th Obama Judicial Nominee

Just imagine the damage to our courts if Republicans control the Senate during President Obama's last two years.
PFAW

Appeals Court Strikes Down Marriage Ban in Virginia, Ruling Will Also Affect Carolinas and West Virginia

Today the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

This is a historic step forward for equality in the South. Beyond Virginia, the ruling will also affect the other states covered by the 4th Circuit, including North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, which have similar bans in place. In West Virginia, the district judge considering the challenge to the state’s ban said last month that he would not proceed until the federal appeals court had ruled.

In the majority opinion, the judges noted that bigotry and fear cannot be the basis for the denial of equal rights under the law:

We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.

…The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual's life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.

For those who claim that marriage bans are legitimate because they were adopted by popular vote, the court quoted a Supreme Court case from 1964:

A citizen’s constitutional rights can hardly be infringed simply because a majority of the people choose that it be.

That one sentence perfectly encapsulates why courts matter.
 

PFAW Foundation
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