All five Barbara McDowell Foundation 2020 grantees were contacted in January in accordance with the Foundation’s requirements and reported with respect to the progress of their case through the first quarter of their grant cycle. Their reports can be read below.
In addition to reporting on their progress, each grantee also submitted first quarter time sheets for their case work and all were deemed to be meeting the requirements of their grants. The average dollar value in attorney time spent by each grantee on their respective case exceeded $30,000.
Barbara McDowell Foundation 2020 Grantees First Quarter Progress Reports
Fair Elections Center: In September 2019, the Court denied the state's motion to dismissed a First Amendment challenge to arbitrary restoration of the right of felons to vote in Kentucky. Subsequently, the new Governor granted this right to non-violent felons only. The case continues as to over 100,000 violent felons.
National Center for Law and Economic Justice: The case, McCullough v. City of Montgomery challenges the jailing of low-income, almost exclusively African American persons, because of their inability to pay exorbitant fines and costs for traffic offenses. Depositions and extensive discovery have ensued with the parties preparing their respective motions for summary judgment.
National Veterans Legal Services Program: Class pleadings are being prepared in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims challenging why it takes more than five years for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to decide the appeal of a Veteran's Affairs denial of a veteran’s benefits claim.
National Women’s Law Center: A challenge was brought in Suryjustice v. DeVos to the sexual harassment guidelines applicable to educational institutions issued by the Department of Education in 2017. An adverse ruling occurred on summary judgment on the basis that the guidelines were not final agency action because the guidelines did not have binding legal consequences for schools. An appeal has been taken to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Foundation is supporting related litigation that the National Women’s Law Center is preparing to undertake challenging the Department of Education’s final Title IX rules on sexual harassment that largely tracking the harmful interim guidance promulgated in 2017.
North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services: On October 16, 2019, a class action complaint in Wake County Superior Court was filed challenging the way that solitary confinement is used in North Carolina prisons. A motion for class certification is being prepared.