People For the American Way

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2020

Contact: Laurie Kinney atPeople 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.

Even as we and many others work on the continuing problems of police misconduct and racial discrimination, as well as promoting a strong, fair, and effective response to the coronavirus crisis, PFAW has continued our ongoing research and reporting on the troubling votes and decisions by Trump appellate judges and justices, many of which relate directly to these issues. Linked below are posts concerning 24 cases from PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears” blog series for May 2020.

Two trends emerge from the May cases: seven Supreme Court and other cases where Trump nominees cast disturbing votes on COVID-19-related issues; and four cases in which Trump appellate judges voted to immunize police from liability for misconduct or to dismiss claims of racial discrimination. Specifically:

  • Trump nominees voted against individual rights and in favor of restrictive government policies in May cases concerning COVID-19 relating to abortion, elections, and prisons. But in a case where majorities voted to uphold restrictions on church gatherings that threatened to contribute to dangerous spreading of COVID-19, three Trump nominees voted against government policies designed to promote safety. This included a Supreme Court decision in which Chief Justice Roberts rebuked Trump justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch for their votes.
  • Trump appellate judges voted in two May cases to grant qualified immunity to police accused of misconduct, including one case where a Trump judge provided the deciding vote in favor of such immunity. In two other cases, Trump judges voted against African American employees who brought discrimination claims, including a deciding vote against a man who was fired on his first day on the job when a supervisor discovered he was African American.

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.