People For the American Way

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31, 2020

Contact: Laurie Kinney at People For the American Way

Email: lkinney@pfaw.org

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 work continues on promoting a strong, fair, and effective response to the coronavirus crisis, as well as on the ongoing 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 posts concerning 33 cases from PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series for June 2020.

Three trends emerge from the June cases: eight Supreme Court and other cases where Trump nominees cast disturbing votes on immigration-related issues; six cases in which Trump appellate judges voted to excuse or immunize police or prosecutors charged with  misconduct; and four cases where Trump Supreme Court or appellate judges voted against women’s rights, including abortion rights. Specifically:

  • Led by the vociferous dissent in the Supreme Court 5-4 ruling invalidating the Trump administration effort to repeal DACA, Trump Supreme Court and appellate judges consistently tried to uphold restrictive federal policies and practices concerning immigration. In the appellate courts, this included 3 majority decisions and dissents from rulings against Trump policies on expanding expedited removal, adopting a new so-called public charge rule, and diverting funds to build Trump’s border wall.
  • Perhaps the most notable June decision approving prosecutorial misconduct was the opinion by Neomi Rao refusing to allow even a hearing on the Justice Department decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn, which has recently been vacated by the full DC Circuit as it reconsiders the case.  Trump judges voted to grant qualified immunity from liability to police or prosecutors in several cases, and in one case, a Trump judge argued in dissent that requiring a man to sit in visible shackles during his criminal trial was not reversible error.
  • Trump appointees came within one vote of upholding restrictive abortion laws in Louisiana (Supreme Court) and Kentucky (6th Circuit). Trump appellate judges cast deciding votes that harmed the rights of women in several cases concerning sexual harassment.

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.

  1. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh Would Have Upheld Trump’s Elimination of DACA: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Gorsuch, Kavanaugh
  2. Trump Judge Rao Tells Lower Court to Obey Trump and Dismiss Charges Against Flynn: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Rao
  3. Trump Judges Stop, Reverse Preliminary Injunction to Control COVID Risk: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Newsom, Branch
  4. Trump Justices Would Uphold Abortion Restrictions and Invite Challenges to Key Abortion Precedent: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Gorsuch, Kavanaugh
  5. Trump Justices Cast Deciding Votes to Eliminate CFPB Independence: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Gorsuch, Kavanaugh
  6. Trump Justices Cast Deciding Votes to Require State to Fund Religious Schools: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Gorsuch, Kavanaugh
  7. Trump Judges Reverse May Ruling, Stop Court Order to Protect Incarcerated People from COVID-19: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Larsen, Bush
  8. Trump Judge Hinders Unionized Workers’ Ability to Prove Unfair Labor Practices: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Rao
  9. Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Authorize Male Student Expelled for Sexual Assault to Sue University for Sex Bias: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Readler
  10. Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Deport Permanent Legal Resident: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Willett
  11. Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Dismiss Sexual Harassment Case: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Phipps
  12. Trump Justices Cast Deciding Votes to Continue in Effect Florida Voting Restrictions: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Kavanaugh, Gorsuch
  13. Trump Judges Reverse Ruling that Agency Should Consider Broad Environmental Impact of Pipeline Oil Spill Plan: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Thapar, Larsen
  14. Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Block Discovery of Important Information in Overtime Eligibility Case: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Duncan
  15. Trump Judge Barrett Would Have Upheld Trump’s Punitive Anti-Immigrant “Public Charge” Rule: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Barrett
  16. Trump Judge Gives Deference To Officers for Their Unjustified Use of Force: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Nelson
  17. Trump Judge Would Allow Trump To Violate The Constitution By Diverting Appropriated Funds To Build Border Wall: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Collins
  18. Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Reject Claim of Race Discrimination in Grand Jury Selection: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Readler
  19. Trump Judges Affirm Decision Upholding Warrantless Stop and Frisk of African American Man: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Rushing, Quattlebaum
  20. Trump Judges Uphold Deportation of Immigrant who was Deprived of Protections of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Thapar, Larsen
  21. Trump Judge Casts Deciding Vote to Uphold Extended Detention and Search After Traffic Stop: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Ho
  22. Trump Judge Casts the Deciding Vote to Give Qualified Immunity to Officers Who Violated Fourth Amendment: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Grant
  23. Trump Judge Tries to Uphold Conviction of Man Forced to Wear Shackles During Trial: Confirmed Judges Confirmed Fears – Readler
  24. Trump Judge Tries to Dismiss Individual’s Claim that Guard Repeatedly Threatened his Life with a Knife: Confirmed Judges Confirmed Fears – Thapar
  25. Trump Judge Tries to Uphold Kentucky Law that Bans Most Second Trimester Abortions: Confirmed Judges Confirmed Fears – Bush
  26. Trump Judge Tries to Immediately Deport Man Threatened with Persecution: Confirmed Judges Confirmed Fears – Thapar
  27. Trump Judge Claims that Trump Expansion of Expedited Removal of Immigrants Cannot be Challenged in Court: Confirmed Judges Confirmed Fears – Rao
  28. Trump Judge Casts the Deciding Vote to Reverse District Court Ruling to Suppress Evidence Obtained in Violation of the Fourth Amendment: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Branch
  29. Trump Judges Give Immunity to Officials Who Disclosed Confidential Information About Sexual Abuse: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Erickson, Grasz, Kobes, Stras
  30. Trump Judge Rules Against Asylum Seeker Who Didn’t Have an Attorney to Explain What Was Required of Her: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Hunsaker
  31. Trump Judge Would Allow California Jail to Worsen COVID Risk: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Nelson
  32. Trump Supreme Court Justices Limit The Rights of Pension Holders To Sue For Breach Of Fiduciary Duty: Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears – Kavanaugh, Gorsuch
  33. Trump Judge Tries to Grant Qualified Immunity to Official Accused of Judicial Deception: Confirmed Judges Confirmed Fears – Bress