Washington, D.C. – As People For the American Way continues to promote qualified Biden-Harris executive branch and judicial nominees, especially women of color as reflected in our #HerFightOurFight campaign, as well as working on the ongoing problems of voter suppression, far-right extremism, police misconduct, and racial discrimination, we have continued our research and reporting on the troubling votes and decisions by Trump appellate judges and justices. Our focus is on the broad, systemic impact of such rulings and opinions, beyond their effect on individual litigants. Linked below are posts concerning 18 cases from People For’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series for June 2021 (plus two Supreme Court rulings on July 1).
One primary trend that emerges from the cases in June concerns four decisions made possible by Trump justices and judges that severely harm voting rights. Another concerns four rulings that limit or narrowly interpret legislation by Congress to protect other rights. Specifically:
- The negative trend on voting rights was led by the Supreme Court’s 6-3 Brnovich decision at the end of its 2020-21 term, which rewrote and made much less effective Section 2 of the landmark Voting Rights Act. Trump appellate judges also cast key votes in three cases on voting rights, including in rulings that upheld restrictive voting laws in Alabama and Tennessee. These cases make it all the more important that Congress move promptly to approve key legislation, including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which can counteract these troubling rulings and better protect the voting rights of all Americans.
- The Supreme Court again led the disturbing trend in June of rulings that have limited Congress’s authority to enact legislation that protects people’s rights or narrowly interpreted such laws. This included a Supreme Court holding that Congress could not authorize people to sue in order to seek redress against false credit reports unless the Court itself agreed that there was injury, and another Court ruling that Congress could not insulate the head of an important housing finance agency from political pressure by providing that the President could only fire the director for cause. In a court of appeals case, a Trump judge cast the deciding vote to narrowly interpret a federal law so that people cannot seek recovery against the US for constitutional violations by officials.
All these June cases and more, including rulings harming disability rights and other protections, underline the importance of efforts to counteract harmful votes by Trump judges by confirming fair-minded constitutionalists with a demonstrated commitment to civil and human rights as federal judges. These cases have all been entered in our Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears tool, which you can search by judge or by issue.
Trump judges rule that state must pay tuition at religious high school
Trump judges refuse to rehear challenge to Alabama voter ID law as racially discriminatory
Trump judges try to rule that failure to provide Miranda warnings does not violate the constitution and allow lawsuits against police
Trump judges try to approve Republican legislators intervention to help defend North Carolina voter ID law in federal court
Trump judge tries to vacate injunction against restrictive abortion law
Trump judges reverse ruling that no beards policy discriminated against Black firefighters with disability
Trump judge casts deciding vote to prevent damages suit challenging federal prison officials constitutional violations and negligence
Trump judge tries to prevent review of Trump era withdrawal of environmental restraints on Alaska mining
Trump justices cast deciding votes to overturn congressional law providing for appointment of independent patent judges
Trump justices cast key votes to further weaken Congress’ authority to insulate agency officials from political pressure and to strike down law on housing finance agency
Trump justices cast deciding votes to invalidate rule allowing access to unions to organize farmworkers
Trump justices rule that having your right to fair credit reporting violated is not enough to let you recover in court
Trump judge casts deciding vote to put restrictive Tennessee voting law back into effect
Trump justices cast deciding votes to authorize indefinite imprisonment of refugees while claims are processed
Trump justices strike down contribution reporting rules
Trump justices cast deciding votes to further devastate voting rights
Trump judge upholds dismissal of deaf student’s claim that school district discriminated against him because of his disability
Trump judge casts deciding vote to reverse district court and require health care related class action to be re-submitted for arbitration
About People For the American Way
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org.