2021 Grantee Case Updates

As part of the Foundation’s ongoing tracking and reporting of its grant-funded cases, in addition to the requirements outlined in the Foundation’s grant agreement, former grantees are required to provide case updates on the cases in which they received funding. The Foundation requests case updates a year after the conclusion of the grant year. These case updates are critical in demonstrating and measuring the impact of the Foundation’s funding efforts and the importance of our grantees’ work.

 In 2021, the Barbara McDowell Foundation awarded four grants of $50,000 to the following organizations:

Below are the case updates provided from each grantee since the submission of their Year-End Reports in October 2021. 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)

The case was dismissed without prejudice following executive actions taken by the Biden administration. In light of litigation in this case and those brought by other organizations, President Biden issued an Executive Order rescinding both Executive Order 13880 of July 11, 2019 (Collecting Information About Citizenship Status in Connection with the Decennial Census) and the Presidential Memorandum of July 21, 2020 (Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census). The Census Bureau then terminated producing a Post-2020 Census Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) Special Tabulation. Public representations and assurances were made that appropriate measures would be adopted by the Census Bureau during post data collection processing to ensure data quality of the census count. The Census Bureau has since released redistricting data on August 12, 2021, in “legacy” format and on September 16, 2021, in a more user-friendly format. These data are now being used in redistricting by states. Our case had a very positive outcome. We thank the Barbara McDowell Foundation for its generous support.

Disability Rights New York (DRNY)

Plaintiffs and Defendants resolved the lawsuit on April 5, 2022, after negotiating terms for a year and a half. The New York State Board of Elections (NYS BOE) agreed to implement a state-wide uniform Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM) absentee ballot system that allows voters with print disabilities the ability to request, receive, and mark an absentee ballot in an accessible way. NYS BOE will implement an RAVBM system that is HTML-based and managed by a third-party vendor. The system will meet all accessibility standards required under the settlement agreement. Defendants agreed to pay Plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees and costs of $400,000. DRNY received $161,474.52 of the award. 

DRNY and co-counsel issued a press release of the settlement agreement: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qnqjob6n6l9f2iw/2022.04.05%20Hernandez%20v.%20NYSBOE%20Settlement%20Press%20Release-joint-final%20%28002%29.pdf?dl=0 

The press release contains links to the settlement agreement and the approved court order.

Gender Justice

On January 18, 2022, we were to begin a jury trial against Thrifty White and George Badeaux, the pharmacist, who refused to fill the Plaintiff’s prescription for Emergency Contraception. A new trial date has been set for August 1, 2022.

We believe that we will be successful at trial. The question is whether the pharmacy denied Plaintiff’s full and equal enjoyment of their goods and services because of her sex. “Sex” under the Minnesota Human Rights Act includes pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. It would thus include emergency contraception.  

The pharmacy owner was fully aware that its chief pharmacist was refusing to fill emergency contraception prescriptions before he refused to fill Plaintiff’s prescription. The pharmacy put no measures in place to ensure that the Plaintiff and others like her with an emergency contraception prescription can get the medication they need in a timely manner. 

We expect that this case will set an important precedent about the rights of pharmacy patients to access care with no barriers. The precedent will be important for all pregnancy-related care, including abortion care. 

National Center for Youth Law (NCYL)

In a landmark ruling in the Lucas R. lawsuit in March 2022, a federal judge held that unaccompanied children in federal immigration custody are entitled to greater constitutional protections than they are currently afforded. 

Among other things, the order:

The Court’s holding applied to three of the five claims in the Lucas R. lawsuit. Over the coming months NCYL will continue negotiating with the administration in an effort to come to agreement on the remaining two claims regarding (1) children who are administered psychotropic medications and (2) children with disabilities. If we are unable to reach agreement on these two additional claims, a trial will take place in November 2022.

To read more updates and results from our grant-funded cases, click here.

(June 2022)