People For the American Way

‘Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears’ Highlights May Rulings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 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 Biden-Harris executive branch and judicial nominees, especially women of color as reflected in our #HerFightOurFight campaign, as well as its work on the ongoing problems of vote 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 12 cases from PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series for May 2021.

One primary trend emerges from the cases in May, the month during which we marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic murder of George Floyd by police: misconduct by police and other law enforcement officials. There were seven decisions in May where Trump judges cast disturbing votes, too often in the majority, to excuse police or other law enforcement misconduct against people of color and others, sometimes resulting in serious injury. In addition, May saw two decisions by Trump judges, one by a district court judge, which struck down or interfered with efforts by President Biden and Congress to help America recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically:

  • In 3 cases, Trump judges cast deciding votes to prevent accountability of police and other law enforcement officials who had physically injured a person, subjected another to false imprisonment, or ordered cruel and unusual punishment, based on qualified immunity or other legal grounds. Other Trump judges tried in dissent to do that in two other cases, while Trump judges in two additional cases excused police misconduct concerning interrogation and search and seizure.
  • A Trump judge wrote a decision that granted a preliminary injunction with respect to an important part of a COVID-19 relief bill that he suggested was unconstitutional because it gave a temporary priority to hard-hit businesses owned by minorities and women. In addition, a Trump district court judge struck down the crucial eviction ban ordered by the Centers for Disease Control because of the pandemic, although that decision has been stayed pending appeal.

All these May cases and more, including cases concerning harm to consumers and a disturbing lack of regard by Trump justices for Supreme Court precedent, 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. This includes, in particular, the women of color already nominated by President Biden, as discussed in PFAW’s #HerFightOurFight campaign. The May cases involving Supreme Court justices and appellate judges have all been entered in our Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears tool, which you can search by judge or by issue.

Trump judge casts deciding vote to excuse clear violation by police of Black man’s fifth amendment rights

Trump judge tries to uphold dismissal of woman’s medical leave claim

Trump judge harms consumers by affirming dismissal of class action complaint against insurance company

Trump judges try to further harm consumers by extending restrictive supreme court ruling and invalidating consumer agency investigation

Trump justices cast deciding votes to overturn key criminal justice precedent

Trump judge grants immunity to police officers who threw a Black man to the ground and beat him before arresting him for a traffic violation

Trump judge casts deciding vote to affirm dismissal of case against police by innocent man who was falsely imprisoned for 16 years

Trump judges try to dismiss claim against border patrol agent for excessive force and retaliation

Trump judge dismisses lawsuit against federal prison guard for ordering cruel and unusual punishment

Trump judge grants preliminary injunction against important part of congressional Covid relief law and indicates it is unconstitutional

Trump judge tries to grant immunity to police officer who shot unarmed man after he opened front door for him

Trump judge casts deciding vote to permit police search of apartment without valid consent

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