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.
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: https://www.pfaw.org.