Welcome to “The Brief,” a monthly roundup of Democracy Forward’s latest work to use the law to fight for good government on behalf of all Americans. Read on below for news of our victories, newest filings, latest case updates, and resources to learn more.
At this inflection point in the American story, there is no time to dwell on the challenges we face. There is only time for action. Here’s an update on how our team is meeting the moment—going where we are needed and taking on the critical fights.
- Protecting Workers in the Pandemic: On behalf of the nation’s leading medical and patient organizations, we’ve filed 10 briefs in 8 courts in defense of federal policies requiring vaccination to protect workers, patients, and public health. Leading medical organizations are clear: vaccines work and national policies are critical to protecting public health and ending the pandemic.
- Children’s Health & COVID-19: As COVID-19 continues to spread in schools throughout the country, we continue to fight in states’ highest courts and federal courts on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics and their chapters to defend and protect science.
- Equality in Education (Title IX): On behalf of our high school student clients, we are pressing ahead with a federal lawsuit challenging a Trump-era revamp of Title IX regulations that weaken sexual harassment protections for students.
- Worker Fairness and Anti-Discrimination: We submitted a comment on behalf of Oregon Tradeswomen, Pride at Work, and the American Federation of Teachers in support of a proposal to rescind a Trump-era Department of Labor rule, which expanded the ability of federal contractors to justify employment decisions that discriminate against workers. In a step in the right direction, the Biden Administration has begun to reverse this Trump-era rule.
- Government Transparency: We submitted a letter to the Government Services Administration regarding the need for prioritizing public user experience research and human-centered design principles in all public-facing databases.
- Criminal Justice Reform: Along with the DC Justice Lab, FAMM, Justice Action Network, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, we urged the federal Bureau of Prisons to ensure people convicted under the D.C. Code who are in federal custody receive the full benefit of First Step Act time credits.
- Win for Homebuyers and Borrowers: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a final rule to rescind the June 2020 Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule, which decreased investment in low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color. This rule, which was contrary to the purpose of the CRA, was subject of a legal challenge we brought in June 2020. More here.
- Win for Student Borrowers: In response to a lawsuit, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reversed course after refusing to supervise large loan servicers in the prior administration and affirmed it will use its tool to protect borrowers from unlawful practices. More here.
- Win for Consumers: In response to our suit, the CFPB conceded that its Trump-era task force, which lacked a single proponent of robust consumer protections, was created in violation of federal transparency law and that its findings should not be relied upon. More here.
- Win for Veterans: Our lawsuit challenging the operation of the Trump administration’s illegal “Mar-a-Lago Council” successfully led to an acknowledgment by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) resolving the unlawful task force, which the government acknowledged had unusually pervasive access at the VA. More here.
- “American Medical Association warns halting Biden Covid vaccine mandate will cause severe and irreparable harm” | CNBC
- “VA acknowledges Mar-a-Lago members had ‘pervasive access’ to VA officials and sought to exert influence” | Stars and Stripes
- “CFPB Hatches Deal To Settle Suit Over Trump-Era Task Force” | Law360
- “12 medical groups urge court to preserve vaccination requirements for healthcare workers” | Becker’s Hospital Review
- “Biden admin reconsidering Georgia’s plan to scrap ACA exchanges” | Reuters