In November, two Biden judges cast deciding votes to block enforcement of an extremely restrictive Idaho abortion law. Biden judges also wrote important opinions on corporate and police accountability for misconduct in three November cases. Each case is summarized below, along with a link to the full People For the American Way blog entry on the decision and to the ruling itself. Links to previous PFAW analyses of Biden judge cases. Such rulings by Biden judges demonstrate the importance to all of us of promptly nominating and confirming such fair-minded judges.
Although the Biden White House and Senate Democrats have been working hard to rebalance the courts after four years of Trump-McConnell judges, they have much more to do. As of December 2, the Senate has confirmed 161 Biden judges, which puts Biden and Schumer behind where Trump and McConnell were at this point four years ago (172 judges at this date and 187 judges by the end of 2019). There are currently 17 nominees out of committee and waiting for a floor vote with only 9 working days left until the end of the year. Updated statistics can be found at Time is Running Out: Confirm Fair-Minded Judges – People For the American Way (pfaw.org).
Biden Judges Cast Deciding Votes to Preserve Injunction Against Restrictive State Abortion Law Pending Appeal
Judges Lucy Koh and Salvador Mendoza, nominated by President Biden to the Ninth Circuit, cast the deciding votes preserving a district court injunction against a restrictive Idaho abortion law while the full court considers the appeal. The November 2023 decision was in United States v Idaho, 2023 U.S. App.Lexis 30135 (Ninth Cir. Nov. 13, 2023) Idaho filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court to reverse the decision, which remains pending as of December 5.
Biden Judge Overturns Trump Judge and Rules that Police Can be Sued for Arresting Someone for “Terrorism” Based on a Joke Posted on Facebook
Judge Dana Douglas, nominated by President Biden to the Fifth Circuit, wrote a unanimous decision reversing a Trump district judge, ruling that police can be sued for arresting someone for “terrorism” based on a joke posted on Facebook about COVID-19. The November 2023 decision was in Bailey v Iles.
Judge Eunice Lee, nominated by President Biden to the Second Circuit, wrote a unanimous decision that reversed a lower court and ruled that family members could pursue damages claims against companies they contend caused a fatal helicopter crash killing two Army pilots. The November 2023 decision was in Jones v Goodrich Pump & Engine Control Systems Inc.
Biden Judge Upholds Ruling that Demonstrators Can Have Their Day in Court Against Police Who Allegedly Used Excessive Force Against Them
Judge Veronica Rossman, nominated by President Biden to the Tenth Circuit, wrote a unanimous opinion that upheld a lower court finding that police officers were not entitled to qualified immunity against a complaint contending that they used excessive force against demonstrators at a protest. The November 2023 decision was in Packard v Budaj.