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.
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