On the Hill Updates

On the Hill Updates: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Federal Courts

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to a lifetime seat on the DC Circuit

On June 14, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Courts of Appeals for the DC Circuit (53-44), only the ninth Black woman to serve on our appellate courts. Judge Jackson has a history of supporting reproductive health care, civil rights, disability rights, and labor rights. Read NCJW’s policy statement on Judge Jackson’s confirmation here.

Two exceptional public defenders nominated to lifetime appointments

On June 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the nominations of Eunice. Lee to the United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Veronica Rossman to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Both Lee and Rossman have spent their careers as public defenders, with Lee representing more than 380 clients over the past 20 years and Rossman representing over 250 clients in the last 12 years. If confirmed, Lee would be the only judge on the Second Circuit with experience as a public defender, and only the second Black woman to ever serve on the court. Rossman has been a proponent of humane sentencing during the COVID-19 pandemic and brings a critical perspective to the federal bench as an immigrant whose family fled Russia in her early childhood due to antisemitic persecution. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on both nominees this month. NCJW supports the nominations of Eunice Lee and Veronica Rossman, both of whom meet our criteria of being fair, independent, and qualified.

Cunningham for Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

On June 17, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a vote to advance the nomination of Tiffany Cunningham to the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit. Cunningham is a registered patent attorney before the US Patent and Trademark office with over 20 years of experience in patent and intellectual property law, in addition to holding both a BS in Chemical Engineering and a law degree. Her confirmation would bring a critical perspective as a trained engineer to a court that deals with issues of technology, science, and medicine. NCJW supports Tiffany Cunningham for the Federal Circuit.

Voting Rights

Upcoming For the People Act vote

The For the People Act (S1), which passed the House of Representatives in March, is heading for a vote in the Senate the last week of June. This transformational democracy bill strengthens and restores voting rights and offer new protections for voters, end the dominance of big money in politics, and implement anti-corruption, pro-ethics measures to clean up government.

  • Take Action! Call your senators and tell them you support the For the People Act.
  • Go further! Click here to find how you can plug in near you (this resource will be updated with new opportunities on an ongoing basis).

Additional Updates

DACA anniversary

June 15, 2021, marked the ninth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. This program, created during the Obama administration, allows young immigrants brought to the US as children (referred to as Dreamers) to live and work without fear of deportation. The Senate marked this anniversary by holding a hearing on the Dream and Promise Act (HR 6), which would establish a path to citizenship for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. (TPS allows people whose countries face war or natural disaster to live and work in the US.) The House of Representatives passed the bill in March. NCJW submitted a statement of support for this legislation to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Title IX comment

NCJW submitted a comment to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights during their week-long public hearing on how to restore and strengthen civil rights protections under Title IX. Current policy created under former Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes schools more dangerous for all students and offers little to nothing in the way of protecting students from sexual assault and harassment. NCJW urges the Biden administration to make schools safer and more just for all students by restoring long-standing protections for students and student survivors.

More News and Updates