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The advancement of a women’s rights agenda depends heavily on court decisions for its success. Since its inception, CWL has devoted significant energy to an active amicus committee in which CWL prepares or joins others in presenting amicus briefs in cases relevant to CWL’s core issues.
  • In determining whether CWL will sign on to or file an amicus brief, we consider the following factors: Is the issue of importance to women? Is it an area of law directly relating to women? Will the resolution of the issue have a significant impact or effect on women even though the issue is not normally considered a “women’s issue?”;
  • Is the issue likely to be or has it already been adequately briefed by the parties in the lawsuit?;
  • Is CWL’s position likely to be of interest to the Court? Will the fact that CWL takes the time to file an amicus brief highlight the importance of the issue in a way that might not otherwise be evident?; and
  • Where does the issue fall among CWL’s overall priorities and amicus brief priorities for the year?
In 2018, CWL signed onto the following amicus briefs:
Case        Outcome

Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services
CWL signed on to an amicus brief in a case in which Massachusetts challenged the Trump administration's adoption of rules that allow employers to decline contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds. The brief supports Massachusetts' appeal of a district court order finding that Massachusetts had no standing to pursue the lawsuit.


Doe 2 v. Trump
CWL signed on to an amicus brief supporting current and prospective transgender service members who have brought suit to challenge President Trump’s directives and to enjoin the implementation of the President’s 2017 memorandum that, among other things, (1) indefinitely extended a prohibition against transgender individuals entering the military, and (2) required the military to authorize the discharge of transgender service members.


Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
To prohibit business owners from disregarding non-discrimination protections in the name of religion and free speech. 


Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Donald J. Trump
To immediately block the Trump administration rules that broadly exempt employers and universities from complying with the ACA's contraceptive coverage requirement. 

 Injunction Granted 

State of California et al v. Eric D. Hargan et al
(Sister brief to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, supra)

 Injunction Granted

Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31
To decide whether employees who enjoy union benefits -including antidiscrimination protections and greater pay equity- should be required to contribute to the cost of securing them. At stake is the decades-old Supreme Court precedent, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which held that public sector collective bargaining agreements may include these "fair share" provisions.

 Reversed & Remanded

NIFLA v. Becerra

To argue that the disclosures required by California’s Reproductive FACT Act comply with the First Amendment, since that Act reasonably requires Crisis Pregnancy Centers to avoid misleading women and inform them of the availability of low-cost or free family planning services provided by the state.


Jock v. Sterling Jewelers

This case is a class action challenge to pervasive sex discrimination in pay and promotion opportunities under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act. 


State of California, et al v. Health and Human Services, et al

In support of the preliminary injunction entered against the Trump administration's rules that broadly exempt employers and universities from complying with the ACA's contraceptive coverage requirement.


Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc.

This case defines the legal contours of both sex harassment and retaliation.


Karnoski, et al v. Trump 

In opposition to dissolving the preliminary injunction halting the government's ban on transgender men and women serving in the military. 

If you would like CWL to consider drafting or signing onto an amicus brief, please contact us at amicus@cwl.org