People For the American Way Foundation

‘Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears’ Highlights March Rulings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 2021

Contact: Press Department at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202.467.4999

Washington, D.C. – As People For the American Way continues its work to promote qualified Biden-Harris executive branch and judicial nominees, especially women of color nominees as reflected in our #HerFightOurFight campaign, we have continued our research and reporting though March 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 16 cases from PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series for March 2021.

Several trends emerge from the March cases. There are three cases where Trump judges cast disturbing votes concerning police misconduct and gun safety, issues that were unfortunately in the headlines in March, as well as three cases harming the rights of women, ironically during Women’s History Month. Specifically:

  • A Trump judge helped reverse a district court ruling and dismiss a claim based on qualified immunity against a police officer who had improperly seized a female high school student for interrogation. Another Trump judge tried to excuse an improper police stop and seizure of a Black man without reasonable suspicion.

Trump justice Gorsuch argued in dissent that police wrongful shooting of a person was not a “seizure” if the person was not apprehended.

  • In addition to the case involving a female high school student described above, another Trump judge harmed women’s rights by writing a decision that prevented a thousand women from pursuing a lawsuit challenging the creation of a hostile work environment where women were continually subject to sexual harassment. Another Trump judge tried to reverse a ruling in favor of an Equal Pay Act claim by a female professor who was paid much less than male counterparts.
  • With respect to gun safety, a Trump judge provided the deciding vote to rule that the federal regulation banning weapons equipped with bump stocks was illegal. Two Trump judges made the same argument in dissent in another bump stock case, which may be taken up by the Supreme Court, while another argued in dissent that a state law limiting public carrying of weapons was unconstitutional.

All these March cases and more, including cases concerning LGBTQ rightsconsumer issues, and immigration, underline the importance of efforts to counteract harmful decisions by Trump judges by confirming fair-minded constitutionalists with a demonstrated commitment to civil and human rights as federal judges, particularly including the women of color already nominated by President Joe Biden, as discussed in People For’s #HerFightOurFight campaign.

These March cases have all been entered in our Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears tool, which you can search by judge or by issue.

Trump justices cast deciding votes making it harder for long time us residents to stop deportation (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh)

Trump judges again try to make dangerous bump stocks legal (Eid, Carson)

Trump judge opinion reverses decision allowing women to bring class action challenging hostile work environment (St. Eve)

Trump judge tries to dismiss female professors federal equal pay and discrimination claims (VanDyke)

Trump judge tries to force individual arbitration of claim that mismanagement of benefit fund caused employees loss of $300 million (Sullivan)

Trump judge tries to uphold police stop of Black man without reasonable suspicion based on anonymous tip (Oldham)

Trump judge tries to strike down state gun safety law (Nelson)

Trump judges stop important pandemic related eviction moratorium (Thapar, Bush)

Trump judge casts deciding vote against ban on dangerous bump stocks (Murphy)

Trump judges cast deciding votes to dismiss fair housing complaint that landlord refused to take action concerning racial terror campaign against Black tenant (Menashi, Nardini, Bianco, Park, Sullivan)

Trump judges cast key votes to reject Muslim citizen’s complaint of inclusion on government watchlist (Quattlebaum, Richardson)

Trump judges rule that public university professors have a constitutional right to publicly demean transgender students in class (Thapar, Larsen)

Trump judges try to reinstate restrictive trump immigration asylum rule (Bennett, Bumatay, Lee, Nelson, VanDyke)

Trump judge tries to severely limit federal class action lawsuits aimed at corporate misconduct (Thapar)

Trump judge supports dismissing female students complaint that she was improperly seized by police school official for police interrogation (Stras)

Gorsuch tried to make unjustified police shootings constitutional if the victim gets away (Gorsuch)

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 opportunityLearn more: http://www.pfaw.org.