People For the American Way

PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” Highlights August Rulings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2020

Contact: Laurie Kinney at People For The American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: (202) 467-2307

Washington, D.C.— People For the American Way’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series covers troubling votes and decisions by Trump appellate judges.

As our nation mourns the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and as work continues on promoting a strong, fair, and effective response to the coronavirus crisis, as well as on the continuing problems of police misconduct and racial discrimination, PFAW has continued our research and reporting on the troubling votes and decisions by Trump appellate judges and justices. Linked below are 33 posts concerning cases from PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series for August 2020.

Two important trends emerge from the August cases: five cases in which  Trump appeals court judges who are reportedly Trump finalists for Justice Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court wrote or joined troubling opinions; and seven cases involving allegations of misconduct by police or other law enforcement officials in which Trump appellate judges voted against efforts to hold officers accountable.

Specifically:

  • Trump judges Barbara Lagoa, Allison Rushing, and Joan Larsen wrote or joined five troubling opinions in August, including a ruling joined by Lagoa that significantly limited courts’ ability to review important decisions by immigration officials and a decision by Rushing that reversed a district court and effectively dismissed a class action against a large corporation for making illegal telemarketing calls. Those three, along with the fourth judge on Trump’s reported short list, Amy Coney Barrett, have cast many other troubling votes harming people’s rights, as documented in PFAW’s Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears tool.
  • Adding to the eight cases in July, Trump appellate judges voted in seven cases in August against efforts to hold police and other law enforcement officials accountable for alleged misconduct, including three in which they voted in favor of granting qualified immunity. For example, in one case two Trump judges reversed a district court and granted qualified immunity to a state trooper who shot and killed a Black man, and all the Trump judges in that circuit voted against rehearing the case.

All these cases and more underline the importance of speaking out and fighting against Trump’s judicial nominations and making this a critical issue in this year’s elections.  These cases have all been entered in our Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears tool, which you can search by judge or by issue, now including police misconduct.