WLG joins Amicus Brief in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina

WLG joins Amicus Brief in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina

Women Lawyers on Guard joins Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina

 

 

August 02, 2022

Women Lawyers On Guard is proud to join the National Women’s Law Center Amicus Brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina. In its 2022–2023 term, which begins in October, the Court is prepared to hear a pair of cases that could potentially end race-conscious admissions policies in higher education—known as “affirmative action”—altogether.

 

In support of the universities’ race-conscious admissions policies, the brief explains three crucial points:

 

1. Racial diversity in higher education is necessary to counter harmful stereotypes about women of color and to benefit from the indispensable contributions that women of color bring to the educational environment.
2. Racial diversity in higher education prepares students for a diverse society.
3. Considering race as one factor in higher education admissions policies is necessary to ensure the inclusion of women of color and to achieve the well-recognized benefits of diverse student bodies.

You can read the entire brief here, and read more about the details within the NWLC’s blog post.

Women Lawyers On Guard Inc.

Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. (WLG) is a national, non-profit organization that seeks to harness the power of lawyers and the law to preserve, protect, and defend the democratic values of equality, justice, and opportunity for all.  WLG focuses on securing the equal treatment of women by challenging laws and practices that discriminate against women, including gender-based violence and harassment and attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights.

 

WLG Joint Statement on Dobbs Decision

WLG Joint Statement on Dobbs Decision

Organizations of Women Lawyers’ Joint Statement Condemning the U.S. Supreme Court Decision and Underlying Reasoning in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

Contacts:

Cory M. Amron, President, Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. camron@womenlawyersonguard.org
Elaine Metlin, Chair, WLG Amicus Committee emetlin@gmail.com
Peggy Steif Abram, Interim Executive Director, National Association of Women Lawyers, pabram@nawl.org
Carol Montoya, Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, carol@wbadc.org

June 24, 2022

Women Lawyers On Guard Inc., National Association of Women Lawyers, and Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia submitted an amicus brief on behalf of women’s legal organizations in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 1 Our brief challenged Mississippi’s unconstitutional 15-week ban on abortion as a violation of the right established by Roe v. Wade and its progeny to end a non-viable pregnancy without state interference. Thirty women’s bar associations and women’s law student organizations joined the brief.

 

Amici argued that application of the foundational legal principle of stare decisis requires Mississippi’s 15- week abortion ban to be struck down as unconstitutional under the reasoning of Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. While stare decisis does not favor preserving misguided, erroneous, and outdated precedents such as Plessy v. Ferguson (which upheld racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine), the opposite is true when it comes to cases that recognize new or expanded liberty interests that afford additional rights to individuals. Those cases, such as Roe, Brown v. Board of Education, and Lawrence v. Texas, should be upheld. The Court itself observed in Casey that changing the law simply due to a change in the Court’s membership would make the Court appear to be a political institution. The brief also argued that, for 50 years, women, including women attorneys, have relied on the rights guaranteed by Roe and Casey to advance their careers and achieve greater gender parity. Despite these gains, inequality and inequity persist, and the gap will assuredly grow rather than shrink if these constitutional rights are restricted or extinguished.


We are extraordinarily disappointed, but not surprised, in the ruling of the Court. We are, however, shocked by the reasoning used to support this decision. With the stroke of a pen, this tragic decision creates a generation of women that have less agency over their own bodies than their grandmothers, and abrogates constitutional rights that we have relied on for nearly 50 years. This decision will have monumental consequences for individuals and their families in this country. As we have seen in other scenarios, pregnant people will not stop seeking abortions, but they will now have to go to much greater lengths, with predictable dire consequences, to exercise their rights to choose when and whether to have a child. People of color and those struggling to make ends meet, who currently have inequitable access to abortion care, will be even more disproportionately affected as their options become more elusive. Additionally, we do not need a crystal ball to foresee other significant personal liberty rights – birth control, marriage equality, and even interracial marriage – that may be challenged on this basis. The public’s trust in and respect for the Court has now been severely damaged. People perceive that a handful of Justices’ personal, religious, or political beliefs have prevailed over precedent and stability of the law. Whether individuals will be forced to bear children will now devolve in a chaotic manner in each state, and more than half the states are expected to make abortion illegal immediately upon issuance of the Dobbs decision. We will never stop fighting for the right of every person to make this highly personal decision in private, without being subject to state control over their body.

 

You can read the full press release here.

        “Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.”
        – JUSTICE BREYER, JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, and JUSTICE KAGAN, dissenting

Women Lawyers On Guard Inc.

Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. (WLG) is a national, non-profit organization that seeks to harness the power of lawyers and the law to preserve, protect, and defend the democratic values of equality, justice, and opportunity for all.  WLG focuses on securing the equal treatment of women by challenging laws and practices that discriminate against women, including gender-based violence and harassment and attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights.

 

WLG joins Amicus Brief in Jane Roe v United States et al, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

WLG joins Amicus Brief in Jane Roe v United States et al, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Women Lawyers on Guard joins Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in in Jane Roe v United States et al

April 27, 2022

Women Lawyers On Guard is delighted to share the opinion in the case of Jane Roe (now Strickland) v United States et al  in which WLG joined an amicus brief led by The Purple Campaign,  a non-profit dedicated to eradicating sexual harassment.  In the decision, the 4th Circuit recognized, for the first time, a Constitutional right of federal judiciary employees to work in an environment free from sexual harassment.  Despite the historic nature of this ruling, the Court’s opinion highlights the continuing need for legislative and policy reform to protect federal judicial employees.  We note, for instance, that certain defendants were immune to these claims, and that certain remedies, such as back pay, are unavailable under existing law.  Not unless Congress enacts the Judiciary Accountability Act, will federal judiciary employees have the same rights and remedies available to private sector employees under Title VII.

You can read the entire opinion here

    Women Lawyers On Guard Inc.

    Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. (WLG) is a national, non-profit organization that seeks to harness the power of lawyers and the law to preserve, protect, and defend the democratic values of equality, justice, and opportunity for all.  WLG focuses on securing the equal treatment of women by challenging laws and practices that discriminate against women, including gender-based violence and harassment and attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights. 

     

    WLG joins Amicus Brief Submitted on Behalf of Singer-Songwriter Kesha

    WLG joins Amicus Brief Submitted on Behalf of Singer-Songwriter Kesha

    Women Lawyers on Guard joins Amicus Brief on behalf of singer-songwriter Kesha

    April 22, 2022

    WLG joined an amicus brief on behalf of the singer-songwriter “Kesha” who has been sued for defamation by Dr. Luke, her former producer, who sexually abused her in 2005 when she was 18 years old.  Defamation has become a heinous weapon used by abusers against those they have targeted.  Here’s the brief:

    You can read the entire brief here.

      Women Lawyers On Guard Inc.

      Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. (WLG) is a national, non-profit organization that seeks to harness the power of lawyers and the law to preserve, protect, and defend the democratic values of equality, justice, and opportunity for all.  WLG focuses on securing the equal treatment of women by challenging laws and practices that discriminate against women, including gender-based violence and harassment and attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights. 

       

      WLG joins Amicus Brief in Brown v. Arizona, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

      WLG joins Amicus Brief in Brown v. Arizona, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

      Women Lawyers on Guard joins Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Brown v. Arizona

      April 4, 2022

      Women Lawyers on Guard joined the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and 30 other advocacy organizations in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Brown v. Arizona on Monday, April 4. A short summary is available here, as well as a blog here. 

        

      Under Title IX schools should not be allowed to ignore sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating abuse, and other violence, just because it occurs off-campus.  A very high number of sexual harassment against college students occurs off-campus, and its impact can be significant and harmful on a survivor’s access to education regardless of where they were assaulted. 

        

      For more info and/or if you’re interested in sharing the brief, please follow the links below: 

        

      Blog: https://nwlc.org/nwlc-files-amicus-brief-supporting-university-of-arizona-student-survivor-of-sex-based-violence/ 

      Brief: https://nwlc.org/resource/nwlc-leads-amicus-brief-supporting-off-campus-student-survivors/ 

       

        Women Lawyers On Guard Inc.

        Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. (WLG) is a national, non-profit organization that seeks to harness the power of lawyers and the law to preserve, protect, and defend the democratic values of equality, justice, and opportunity for all.  WLG focuses on securing the equal treatment of women by challenging laws and practices that discriminate against women, including gender-based violence and harassment and attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights. 

         

        Joint Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

        Joint Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

        Organizations of Women Lawyers Defend Women’s Constitutional Abortion Rights in Joint Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

        Contacts:

        Elaine Metlin, Women Lawyers On Guard, emetlin@gmail.com
        Karen M. Richardson, National Association of Women Lawyers, krichardson@nawl.org
        Carol Montoya, Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, carol@wbadc.org

        September 20, 2021 — More than 30 organizations of women lawyers and future legal professionals, led by three notable U.S. organizations of women lawyers, submitted an amicus brief in support of respondents in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which could overturn Roe v. Wade and the almost 50 years of constitutional jurisprudence guaranteeing reproductive freedom to women.

        Led by Women Lawyers On Guard, National Association of Women Lawyers and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and submitted by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP as counsel for amici, the brief lays out what is at stake if the Supreme Court overturns or weakens Roe.  Women and their families, including women attorneys, have relied heavily on the constitutional guarantee of the ability to decide whether to have an abortion when exercising autonomy over their lives, health, families and futures. Loss of the rights guaranteed by Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey would decimate women lawyers’ ability to advance their careers and achieve gender parity in the legal field.

        Co-leads of this brief issued this joint statement regarding the brief:

        Women Lawyers On Guard Inc.: “Women Lawyers On Guard is proud to co-lead this amicus brief explaining why the Supreme Court should uphold Roe and Casey under the doctrine of stare decisis.  A key factor of the stare decisis analysis is societal reliance.  Women’s reliance on the reproductive rights guaranteed by Roe and Casey has forever changed society and enabled women to make great strides in the fight to achieve equality.  But even with reproductive freedom, progress toward gender parity in the legal profession has been agonizingly slow.  Women attorneys often pay a price for having children and many of them leave the legal profession altogether due to childcare responsibilities.  This cost is largely borne by women, not men.  If women lose the ability to plan their families, all of these gains will quickly be in serious jeopardy.  Roe and Casey must be upheld because they were correctly decided and because we simply cannot go back to a time where women have no freedom to make intimate decisions about their own bodies and lives,” said Cory Amron, President, Women Lawyers On Guard; Elaine Metlin, Co-chair, Amicus Committee, Women Lawyers On Guard.

        National Association of Women Lawyers: ”The National Association of Women Lawyers is proud to co-lead this amicus brief with more than 30 organizations of women lawyers and future legal professionals. Women’s reliance on the reproductive rights guaranteed by Roe and Casey has enabled women to make great strides in the fight to achieve equality. Without bodily autonomy, including the legal right to decide whether, when, and by what means to have the number of children they desire, women cannot be fully equal under the law or professionally. The negative consequences that would result from overturning well-established legal precedent implicate every facet of women’s lives and health,” said Karen Richardson, Executive Director of the National Association of Women Lawyers.

        Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia: “The Women’s Bar Association of DC proudly joins this brief to support the well-established legal precedent that women have a constitutional and fundamental right to privacy, which long has included access to reproductive health care including abortions,”  said Sadina Montani, Immediate Past President of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia and partner at Crowell & Moring.

        Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, counsel for amici: “We are proud to partner with these leading organizations supporting women in the legal profession and to bring the unique perspective of women lawyers and law students to the critical issues at stake in this case,” said Heather Schneider, partner at Willkie and lead counsel on the brief.

        “This case raises serious issues that significantly affect women’s constitutional rights and the advancement of women attorneys. We hope our brief sheds light on the impact of this case on women in the legal profession,” said Mia Guizzetti Hayes, counsel at Willkie and counsel of record on the brief.

        The brief specifically highlights the central role that Roe’s and Casey’s constitutional right to bodily autonomy has played in the advancement of women in the law, as well as the steep hurdles still faced by female lawyers generally—and especially female lawyers of color and those with children—that will only become harder to surmount if that right were revoked or weakened.  While it is true that there are many more women lawyers and judges today than there were when Roe and Casey were decided, there is still discrimination against women—especially mothers and women of color—in the legal profession. For example:

        • Women represent less than ¼ of law firm equity partners, despite representing 40% of associate ranks.
        • Women of color in particular represent only 15% of law firm associates and fewer than 4% of law firm partners.
        • 54% of women in the law are fully in charge of arranging childcare as compared to just 1% of men, and 32% of women in the law are responsible for leaving work early for childcare as compared to just 4% of men.
        • Women are also likely to be passed over for certain projects after returning from maternity leave because of assumptions about their need to participate in childcare.
        • Women, especially women of color, report being treated particularly badly after having had children, reporting being passed up for promotions and given low-quality assignments; being demoted, paid less, and treated unfairly for working part-time; and other disparate treatment stemming from the misperception that women lawyers who are parents have chosen the “mommy track.”
        • These transgressions are felt more deeply since COVID-19 began. Women are working more hours from home than men and are less likely to use third-party day care services.  About half of women with children under age 13 consider becoming part-time or leaving the legal profession altogether.
        • Even without factoring in children, 70% of women of color report have left or seriously considered leaving the legal profession.

        The amicus brief is also signed by nearly 30 other organizations dedicated to supporting women lawyers and law students.

          Women Lawyers On Guard Inc.

          Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. (WLG) is a national, non-profit organization that seeks to harness the power of lawyers and the law to preserve, protect, and defend the democratic values of equality, justice, and opportunity for all.  WLG focuses on securing the equal treatment of women by challenging laws and practices that discriminate against women, including gender-based violence and harassment and attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights.  https://womenlawyersonguard.org/

          National Association of Women Lawyers 

          The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success. To advance its mission, NAWL participates as amicus curiae before the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts in cases pertaining to women’s equal treatment under the law. https://www.nawl.org/

          Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia

          The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (“WBADC”) is one of the oldest women’s bar associations in the country.  Since 1917, it has advocated for the advancement of women in the profession and upheld its mission to maintain the honor and integrity of the legal profession, promote the administration of justice, advance and protect the interests of women lawyers, promote their mutual improvement, and encourage a spirit of friendship.  As an organization, WBADC is a catalyst for women helping women, and in support of its mission, it participates as amicus curiae before the Supreme Court of the United States and other courts throughout the nation to advocate for women in the legal profession and women’s rights more broadly. https://wbadc.org/

          Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

          Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of approximately 1,000 attorneys with offices in Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. https://www.willkie.com/