Washington, D.C. – As People For the American Way works on issues related to the Presidential transition on January 20 and promoting a strong, fair, and effective response to the coronavirus crisis, as well as on the ongoing problems of 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 ten cases from PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series for November 2020.
Several trends emerge from the November cases: four Supreme Court and other decisions where Trump nominees cast disturbing votes to try to continue to implement Trump policies, and four raising serious health care and related concerns. Specifically:
- Although even Trump judges have not supported Trump’ s troubling efforts to try to overturn the results of the November election (as of this writing), a number of them have voted to try to continue to help Trump carry out some of his restrictive policies. These have included a Supreme Court ruling (including new Justice Amy Coney Barrett) and an appellate dissent on the Trump-Barr effort to put as many federal prisoners to death as possible before January 20; an appellate ruling dismissing a challenge to Trump’s efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from census counts for reapportionment purposes, which a Trump lawyer has urged the Supreme Court to follow; and an appellate ruling reaffirming approval of a Trump Administration practice of detaining immigrants for long periods without a hearing.
- Four November decisions by Trump justices and judges seriously threaten Americans’ health, health care, and related issues. These include the Supreme Court ruling (including Justice Barrett) invalidating some of New York’s COVID-19 precautions relating to places of worship, and appellate decisions that approved state restrictions on Medicaid patients choosing their own health care providers, struck down local laws banning so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth, and put into effect a restrictive state abortion law.
All these cases and more underline the importance of judicial nominations as a critical issue in upcoming Senate elections and of efforts after January 20 to counteract harmful decisions by Trump judges, including by legislation and 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 Strike Down Laws Protecting LGBTQ Youth From Dangerous “Conversion Therapy”: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Grant, Lagoa
- Trump Judges Help Authorize States to Prevent Medicaid Patients from Choosing their Own Health Care and to Cut Off Medicaid Funding to Planned Parenthood: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Willett, Ho, Duncan, Engelhardt
- Trump Justices Cast Deciding Votes to Exempt Churches from COVID-19 Health Rules: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett
- Another Trump Judge Tries to Partly Overturn Federal Law Banning Firearms Possession by People Convicted of Felonies: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears– Bibas
- Trump Justices Help Authorize Immediate Execution to Help Carry Out Trump-Barr Plan to Maximize Executions Before Trump Leaves Office: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett
- Trump Judges Dismiss Challenge to Trump Census Edict as Premature Even as Supreme Court Considers the Issue: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Katsas
- Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Reverse District Court and Allow Restrictive State Abortion Law to Take Immediate Effect: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears– Thapar
- Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Affirm Dismissal of Claim that Employee Was Fired for Complaining About Race and Disability Bias: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Erickson
- Trump Judge Tries to Dismiss Challenge to Trump-Barr Execution Protocol as Violating Federal Drug Law: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Rao
- Trump Judge Doubles Down on Decision Allowing Continued Detention of Immigrant Who Has Been Imprisoned for Almost Three Years: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Thapar, Larsen, Murphy, Nalbandian, Bush