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Amicus
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

Moussouris v. Microsoft Corporation
In this employment gender discrimination case, we argued that the district court erred in denying class certification by mandating that litigants provide a minimum number of declarations from impacted employees, while at the same time ignoring hundreds of formal complaints of gender bias, thereby frustrating the vindication of antidiscrimination laws and permitting barriers to women’s career advancement to remain firmly in place.

Pending

Tudor v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
In this case, a unanimous jury found in favor of a professor who was denied tenure after undergoing a male to female gender transition, but the district court denied her claim for reinstatement. CWL joined a brief underscoring the importance of reinstatement in employment discrimination cases and arguing that the factors the court considered in denying reinstatement were improper.

Pending

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.

Pending

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.

Pending

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

Reversed

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
&
Partially Affirmed

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

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (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.

 Reversed & Remanded

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. 

 Pending

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.

 Pending

Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc.
Our amicus brief argued that the lower court inappropriately dismissed the sex discrimination claim. The Fourth Circuit reversed the lower court ruling in its decision by an unanimous three-judge panel, holding that rumors that a female employee slept with her male boss to obtain promotions can give rise to her employer’s liability under Title VII for sex discrimination. The Fourth Circuit revived the claims of sex discrimination in this case agreeing that “the traditional negative stereotypes regarding the relationship between the advancement of women in the workplace and their sexual behavior” are still at play and allowing harassment based on such stereotypes can violate federal law.

 Reversed

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. 

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