Amicus Briefs NNEDV Joined in 2019
June Medical v. Gee, December 2, 2019
This is a Supreme Court case originating from Louisiana challenging Act 620. Act 620 requires that abortion services providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital (if the law stands, there will be only 1 eligible provider in all of Louisiana). Among other arguments, the brief discusses how women who experience domestic violence would be especially harmed by the scarcity of abortion services and the added burden in obtaining them.
Deotte v. Azar, December 20, 2019
This case involves an employer’s obligation under the Affordable Care Act to provide health coverage that includes contraception. Plaintiffs argued that they should be exempt from the requirement under religious grounds. The federal government declined to oppose the Plaintiff’s position, and so Nevada filed a motion to intervene. The brief we signed on to opposed the issuance of an injunction and supported Nevada’s motion. Judge O’Conner agreed with Plaintiffs and issued the injunction (there is a great description of the back story on Health Affairs for more detail). This is the same judge who ruled that the entire ACA was unconstitutional back in 2018, has ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional, and sided against the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX rules. Nevada has appealed to the Fifth Circuit, the above organizations are submitting a brief in support, and they have asked for us to sign on as well. We previously signed on because of the danger and hardship that lack of access to contraception can cause for women who are experiencing domestic violence.
Hollingsworth v. Zuchowski/USCIS, December 27, 2019
A case before the District Court in the Southern District of Florida. In this case, an immigrant abuse victim’s VAWA self-petition was denied. The victim had three children with the US Citizen abuser, and lived with him prior to their marriage. She left because of the abuse, but ultimately married the abuser in hopes that the situation would improve. After they were married, the couple was living separately but seeing each other regularly and looking for an apartment together. The abuse again escalated, the victim decided to terminate the relationship and filed a self-petition under VAWA. The petition was denied by USCIS. The main issue is that USCIS is interpreting the word “spouse” to mean that the couple lived together while married. The plain language of VAWA however, provides that a victim can self-petition if s/he has “resided with the alien’s spouse.” The statute refers to a “spouse” throughout as a general term to refer to the abuser, without attaching any temporal or other significance. As such, the brief argues, an immigrant who has been abused by their husband or wife should be allowed to self-petition under VAWA regardless of whether they lived with the spouse during the marriage. There are detailed arguments about statutory interpretation and legislative intent (which I can get into if you would like), with amici ultimately asserting that “[t]o insert such a restriction would contravene Congress’ intent to ensure that immigrant survivors of domestic violence need not remain in abusive relationships in order to secure their immigration status.”