Courts

Inclusion of Transgender Student Athletes Found to Violate Title IX

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has found that a Connecticut high school athletics policy that allows transgender students to participate in sports teams that match their gender identity violates federal law and could cost the state federal education funding. A 45-page letter, dated May 15, explained that the decision was based on the...

Immigrant Woman Sues Over Sexual Assault in Detention Center

On Wednesday, an immigrant woman formerly in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in Houston sued a private prison company, CoreCivic, after she was raped in 2018 in a dark, isolated cell along with two other women the day before she was deported to Mexico. The woman, Jane Doe, became pregnant as a result of...

Nebraska Public College Pays $900,000 in Title IX Settlement

The Nebraska State College System will pay $900,000 in a settlement for inadequately addressing a case of dating violence that resulted in a student’s suicide in 2015. The settlement comes after the family of Fatima Larios, who died at 19, filed a federal suit in 2017. In addition to the monetary amount, Chadron State College,...

Former Roe V. Wade Plaintiff Admits Pro-Life Stance Was An Act

Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff from the Roe v. Wade (1973) case, has once again publicly changed her stance in support of abortion, and also admitted that she only came out against abortion after being paid by anti-abortion groups. These statements come to light in the documentary “AKA Jane Roe”—directed by Nick Sweeney and filmed just before her death in...

U.S. Navy Grants Waiver to Transgender Service Member Despite Trump Ban

The U.S. Navy granted a waiver for a transgender service member to serve according to her gender identity last Friday, the first of its kind since the military enacted a ban on transgender troops. The waiver comes after the officer, publicly known only as Jane Doe, sued President Donald Trump over his ban on transgender...

ACLU and Other Groups File Lawsuit to Block New Title IX Rules

Survivor advocacy groups filed a suit yesterday to block Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s new Title IX rules that weaken protections for survivors. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and another law firm, argue that the new rules make it harder for survivors to report sexual assault and harassment. The plaintiffs...

Historic Transgender Rights Supreme Court Case Plaintiff Aimee Stephens Has Died

Aimee Stephens died yesterday at age 59. She was unsure whether the Supreme Court will decide her case as planned on Thursday and if she would live to hear the decision. In 2013, Stephens told her employer that she was going to transition to female and was subsequently fired two weeks later from her job...

Supreme Court Considers Affordable Care Act Religious Exemption Rule

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will consider yet another case regarding whether employers can decline to cover contraceptives in their health care plans. Reproductive rights groups warn that depending on the outcome of the case, tens of thousands of American women could lose vital contraceptive coverage. The case, Little Sisters of the Poor and Paul...

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Equal Pay Claim Dismissed by Federal Judge

A federal judge dealt a significant blow to the U.S. Women’s national team’s fight for equality on Friday. While the U.S. women’s team’s claim of unequal working conditions can go forward, a federal judge rejected the player’s claims of pay inequality. In March 2019, the USWNT filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The...

ACLU Challenges Arkansas’s Latest Attempt to Restrict Abortion Access

Arkansas’s only in-clinic abortion provider, Little Rock Family Planning Services, is suing the state to challenge a rule requiring patients to get a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of their abortion procedure. This is the second time Arkansas abortion providers have had to fight a legal battle to protect abortion access during the COVID-19 pandemic....

Students Have Fundamental Right to Literacy, Appeals Court Says

A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that students in Detroit have a right to a “basic minimum education” ensuring literacy. Gary B., et al. v. Whitmer, et al. was filed by students on behalf of students in the Detroit Public Schools system. It argued that conditions in the schools had deprived them of a...

Texas Governor’s Executive Order Banning Abortion Expires

Tuesday night, Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s March 21 executive order expired. The order had been the object of weeks of legal debate over the classification of medication and procedural abortion as a ‘non-essential’ medical procedure during the COVID-19 crisis. On Wednesday, Gov. Abbott announced a new executive order, allowing certain medical procedures to resume,...

Federal Judge Allows Abortions in Oklahoma to Resume Despite COVID-19 Ban

U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin has just issued a preliminary injunction against Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s attempted abortion ban, and is allowing all abortion services to resume on Friday, April 24. According to a release by the Associated Press, “the injunction ensures that abortions can be performed in Oklahoma while the case continues in federal...

Historic Coalition of Women’s and Civil Rights Groups File Amicus Brief to Stop Alabama COVID-19 Order to Severely Restrict and Criminalize Abortion

Washington, DC –An historic coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, human rights, and reproductive justice groups including the National Organization for Women Foundation, the Feminist Majority Foundation and Legal Momentum, joined by 18 other organizations, including In Our Own Voice: The National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,...

Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner Faces Second Lawsuit for LGBTQ Discrimination

Autumn Scardina is the plaintiff in the second lawsuit against Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner Jack Phillips for LGBTQ discrimination. The lawsuit argues that the business unlawfully refused service to Scardina, a transgender woman, who requested a trans-themed birthday cake. Scardina had previously filed a complaint against Phillips when the refusal happened in 2018, but Phillips sued...

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Idaho Transgender Athlete Ban

The ACLU has filed a complaint in Boise federal court on Wednesday, April 14 following Idaho Governor Brad Little’s signing of a bill banning the participation of transgender women and girls from women’s public and university sports into law on March 30. The lawsuit challenges the new law, set to go into effect on July...

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Arkansas Coronavirus Abortion Ban

In a victory for reproductive rights advocates, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker has issued a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement of Arkansas’ ban on abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like several other states, Arkansas attempted to stop all but emergency abortions during the pandemic, supposedly to preserve resources for COVID-19 care and reduce the...

Abortion Services Allowed to Continue in Oklahoma After Appeals Court Ruling

The decision by a lower court to overturn the Oklahoma governor’s ban on abortion has been upheld by a federal appeals court. Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made a unanimous ruling to allow abortions to continue in Oklahoma, overturning Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) ban on abortion as part...

Jill Karofsky Defeats Daniel Kelly for Wisconsin Supreme Court Seat

Democrat Jill Karofsky has defeated the incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly for his seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court according to results released Monday, reducing the conservative majority in the court and solidifying another seat for a woman on the bench. According to Partick Marley for USA Today, Karofsky has “served as the state’s first violence against...

Australian Cardinal Accused of Sexual Abuse Acquitted

Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for sexually assaulting two young boys in the 1990s has been overturned by the Australian High Court. Because the court found reasonable doubt of Pell’s crimes, the former Vatican chief financial officer and adviser to Pope Francis will be released with no possibility of a retrial. He was convicted in December...