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. 

         

        Women Lawyers’ Lives, Careers Will Suffer Without Abortion Right, Brief Warns Justices

        Women Lawyers’ Lives, Careers Will Suffer Without Abortion Right, Brief Warns Justices

        Pro-abortion rights protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 2019. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

        Reposted from The National Law Journal (Read the full article)
        By Marcia Coyle

        Losing the right to determine when to have children would devastate women’s ability to advance their legal careers and achieve gender parity, more than 30 organizations of women lawyers and law students told the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief in the new term’s latest abortion fight.

        The organizations, in the brief by Mia Guizzetti Hayes, counsel at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, emphasize “reliance” on the abortion right as the key factor in the justices’ analysis of whether to accept Mississippi’s request that they overturn their landmark abortion rights rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.

        “Mississippi’s claim that women have been able to reach society’s highest echelon without reliance on the right to decide to end a pregnancy is simply wrong,” the brief states. “While Congress has passed some laws that provide some support for parents, many women throughout the legal profession continue to experience significant setbacks to career advancement if they cannot decide the timing and size of their families. Amici members have personally relied on the guarantee of bodily autonomy to advance their own careers and women’s position in the legal field as a whole.”

        The amicus brief by Hayes, associate Ciara Copell and a team of Willkie Farr lawyers is one of more than 50 filed in recent days on behalf of the Mississippi abortion clinic in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Thomas Dobbs is head of the state’s Department of Health.

        Mississippi initially asked the justices in its petition for review to decide whether all pre-viability prohibitions on abortions are unconstitutional. The state said the case could be decided without overturning Roe or Casey. But when it filed its brief on the merits after the court granted review, the state explicitly urged the court to overrule Roe and Casey as “egregiously wrong.”

        The lead organizations on the Willkie Farr amicus brief are Women Lawyers on Guard, the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Other organizations include Oregon Women Lawyers, the Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association, Hawaii Women Lawyers and Women’s Law Student Association at the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

        The brief highlights statistics about ongoing discrimination against women lawyers in the legal profession, particularly mothers and women of color. For example, women represent less than one-fourth of law firm equity partners, despite representing 40% of associates; 54% of women in the law are fully in charge of arranging child care as compared with just 1% of men, and 32% of women in the law are responsible for leaving work early for child care as compared to just 4% of men, and 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 child care.

        Gender parity, the brief states, is not expected to occur until 2181, according to one study.

        “Considering the limited resources and opportunities available to women lawyers with children, particularly against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, losing the ability to decide whether and when to have their children, and how many children to have, would undoubtedly be detrimental to women lawyers’ careers,” the brief states.

        Willkie Farr’s Copell, whom Hayes called “instrumental in putting together the brief, said, “As soon as the Supreme Court took up this case, we were very eager to get involved.” The firm also filed an amicus brief in the 2020 abortion case, June Medical Services v. Russo.

        Women Lawyers On Guard, Copell said, was “ready to go” as soon as the court took the Mississippi case. It and the other two named organizations became the core group behind the amicus brief. “They utilized their network across the country with other women lawyer groups to get a critical mass,” Copell said. “Willkie used our network to reach other other women’s lawyer organizations. It was a conscious decision to include law students as well as they are going through the same things women lawyers have been and are still going through.”

        The amicus brief is reminiscent of a powerful amicus brief filed by women lawyers in the 2016 case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. In that brief, filed by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, 113 women lawyers signed their names and detailed their own abortion stories and the abortion rights’ impact on their careers and families.

        A Paul Weiss team of lawyers has been assisting the Center for Reproductive Rights in the Mississippi abortion case since the litigation began.

        Reliance on the abortion right has only grown with the passage of time, the new amicus brief tells the court.

        “Under the principle of stare decisis, the court in Casey upheld the central holding in Roe in part because it recognized that ‘an entire generation has come of age’ relying on ‘Roe’s concept of liberty in defining the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions.’” the brief states. “Now, close to thirty years after Casey, this statement applies to every woman of childbearing age in the United States.”

        Copell said the justices have expressed that reliance is one of the most important factors. “Here it’s a little bit of a slam dunk in the fact that women have relied on this right for the last 40 years,” she said. “It was a particular honor to write this one from the perspective of women lawyers who have both professional and personal knowledge on this subject matter.”

        Hayes added, “We’ve planned lives, careers, education and families in reliance on this right.”

        Letter from Cory Amron re: Joint Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

        Letter from Cory Amron re: Joint Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

        Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

        Dear Women Lawyers on Guard Inc.,

        There is no doubt that the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban is unconstitutional (as, of course is the Texas 6-week ban- but that’s another case.) However, because the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is pretty clear that they are planning to severely restrict women’s reproductive rights guaranteed for almost 50 years by Roe v Wade, Casey and their progeny, if not overturn these cases. Why do we say this? Because the conservative Fifth Circuit appeals court found that the Mississippi ban was clearly unconstitutional. So if the Supreme Court were to follow precedent, they would have no need to take this case.

        Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. has just filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case. It argues strongly that the Mississippi ban should be struck down under precedent of Roe, Casey, etc. and that stare decisis and reliance dictate this result. WLG’s co-leads on the brief are the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Women’s Bar Association of DC. Willkie Farr served as our pro bono counsel. 28 additional women’s bars, women’s law student groups, or women’s legal organizations have signed onto the brief in which we argue that women and particularly women lawyers have relied on these reproductive rights to plan their families, get their education, pursue their jobs and careers.

        Amicus for the State of Mississippi has said that women have made these strides without the need for reproductive rights. That’s balderdash.

        Here’s a link to our brief.

        We have spent hundreds of volunteer hours on this amicus effort. We would appreciate any donation you can make to help us continue our operations. WLG is a 501(c)(3) organization -donations are tax deductible.

         

        Thank you for your contribution to our efforts. To donate click here.

         

        My best,

        Cory