Policy Updates

On the Hill Updates: June 26, 2020

Federal Courts

Trump’s 200th confirmation is nothing to celebrate 

On June 22, the Senate invoked cloture to end debate and move forward on a vote to confirm Cory Wilson (51-43) to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Wilson, Trump’s 200th lifetime confirmation, was confirmed (52-48) on June 24. Like Justin Walker confirmed last week, Wilson has vigorously opposed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (calling it “perverse” and “illegitimate”), and has made clear that he would invalidate the ACA and take away health care from millions, including over 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions. As a state legislator, he voted for a severely restrictive “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy and voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Further, Wilson has called civil rights organizations “rent-a-mobs” and championed measures that would make it harder for African Americans to vote. NCJW opposed the nomination of Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit. Thank you for all of your calls and emails the close vote wouldn’t have happened without all of you! 

  • Take Action! Call your senators (Capitol Switchboard #202-224-3121) to thank them for their vote to oppose Wilson or let them know you’re disappointed they voted to confirm someone with such an extreme partisan agenda. 

SCOTUS deals a blow to asylum seekers 

Following a decision last week in which the Supreme Court upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the opinion in Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam was of a very different tone. The Court ruled 7-2 that immigrants seeking asylum do not have the right to make their case in federal courts. With Justice Alito writing for the majority, the justices held that such a review process would overwhelm the nation’s immigration system, upholding a 1996 law that limits the role of federal courts in reviewing rejected claims of asylum. The case involves Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority, who faces persecution and death if he were returned to Sri Lanka. 

With a blockbuster Supreme Court term — the first with Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the bench — join NCJW and Dahlia Lithwick, who writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus, as soon as the session ends. From abortion access to LGBTQ rights to firearms to Dreamers, we’ll break down the cases and learn what’s at stake based on the decisions issued this term. We’ll also highlight cases to watch when the next term opens on October 5. You won’t want to miss hearing from Dahlia, one of the most insightful voices on the courts! Register here. 

Civil Rights

House passes policing reform measure 

On June 25, the House passed the renamed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (HR 7120), a first step toward meaningful accountability in policing. Among many significant changes, the bill would allow the use of force only as a last resort, ban chokeholds, and prohibit racial and religious profiling, among other dramatic changes. NCJW is committed to working with senators to ensure the bill is even more robust upon passage, with federal dollars invested in services, programs, and efforts that help build stable and safe Black and Brown communities. 

Immigration and Refugees

Support refugees through the #70million campaign
NCJW is proud to partner with the #70million campaign, a ten-day call to the global Jewish community to take action for refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced people around the world. The US refugee resettlement program has ground to a complete halt amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been largely dismantled during the current administration. With more than 70 million refugees and displaced people around the world, the campaign aims to mobilize the worldwide Jewish community from June 17-26 in support of Jewish and Israeli organizations working with refugees. 

  • Take Action! Visit the #70Million campaign to find ways to advocate, learn, volunteer, and donate to help refugees. 

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