2019 Amicus Brief Summary

In 2019, CWLC authored or joined 29 amicus briefs. Some of the briefs were filed at the federal level, pushing back against harmful rules and regulations proposed by the current administration. Others related to cases spanning the country which ended up in appellate courts. Most, however, were filed here in California, reflecting the ongoing need to advocate for women and girls in our state.

CWLC seeks to make a long-lasting impact through our litigation efforts. Several of our 2019 amicus briefs requested publication of judgments resulting in the clarification of laws, ultimately benefiting women facing similar circumstances. Many victims of domestic violence represent themselves in court, and often they have limited English language proficiency. Navigating the legal system can be challenging for lawyers and non-lawyers, and establishing precedent with published rulings reduces the burden on survivors to decipher ambiguous legal standards.

CWLC remains committed to meeting the diverse legal needs of women and girls by focusing on the following areas. You can read the full summary of our 2019 amicus briefs here.

  • Gender Discrimination: CWLC addressed several forms of gender discrimination including workers who had been denied pregnancy accommodations, transgender students who were refused access to restrooms, and women who were paid less than their male counterparts. We also advocated for incarcerated women to receive equal treatment compared to incarcerated men.
  • Violence Against Women: This year we filed and participated in numerous briefs supporting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and harassment. The cases included protecting children of abusive parents from witnessing or experiencing further violence, asking judges to give fair and full consideration to all evidence presented in domestic violence cases, and securing restraining orders to keep victims safe. We also urged courts to hold workplaces and schools accountable for failing to reasonably remedy harassment and assault on campus and at work, and to hold perpetrators of abuse accountable.
  • Reproductive Health: Access to reproductive health care was substantially threatened in 2019. CWLC worked to protect women’s health with amicus briefs arguing against attempts to limit access to abortion, a reduction in funding for trusted family planning providers, and broad religious exemptions that would allow employers to opt out of insurance plans offering birth control to their employees.
  • Women’s Economic Security: Many factors – including gender discrimination, domestic violence, and family planning access – impact a woman’s ability to be financially stable. Nearly all of CWLC’s work has an impact on women’s economic security. In particular, CWLC directly addressed this issue by filing multiple amicus briefs in wage discrimination cases this year, including the protection of transgender women from discrimination at work.

Thank you for your support of this work. We are proud to have made an impact in 2019, and look forward to continuing our legal advocacy on behalf of women and girls in 2020.