Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: It’s Nonstop Judicial Nomination Shenanigans

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

Trump's nominees are a bunch of white bros, including one who has never tried a case and (surprise!) is married to a White House lawyer.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

File this item away under “not shocking at all.” Most of Trump’s judicial nominees are white guys.

What a coincidence. President Trump nominated to federal court a man who defended the Ku Klux Klan in online comments from 2011. That same nominee, Brett Talley, has never tried a case and just so happens to be married to a senior White House lawyer.

A Wisconsin state Supreme Court hopeful was arrested twice for violating laws while protesting abortion clinics in 1989.

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The only way Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee have been able to slow down approval of Trump’s judicial nominees is by withholding “blue slips,” pieces of paper that say nominees have the approval of both the senators from their state. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has withheld his blue slip for Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee David Stras. That pissed off Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has decided he’s going to nix the blue slip process and take his ball and go home.

North Carolina Republicans have been playing politics with the state courts for a while now. One result: Fewer Black judges have made it to the bench.

Evan McLaren, Richard Spencer’s “right-hand man” and a proud white supremacist, is probably about to add licensed attorney to his résumé so that he can become the “legal warrior” of the white nationalist movement.

A federal judge in Louisiana tossed out one of the claims in a lawsuit challenging seven abortion restrictions. A law that restricts donation of fetal tissue was cut from the suit filed by an abortion clinic in 2016. But according to attorney Zoe Levine of the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenges to the six other statutes are moving forward. Find a description of the lawsuit and the laws being challenged here in the case database section of Rewire’s Legislative Tracker.

Democracy Forward and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed a lawsuit contending that the Trump administration illegally rolled back equal pay transparency requirements. The lawsuit wants a reinstatement of the requirement that companies with 100 or more workers report employee pay by race, gender, and ethnicity.

Two women are seeking class action status in a lawsuit on behalf of all “female riders that have experienced rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated harassment at the hands of their Uber drivers.”

Automaker Tesla has found itself on the business end of a class action race discrimination lawsuit brought by Black factory workers in Fremont, California, who say the production plant is a “hotbed for racist behavior.”

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