Appellate Advocacy

photograph of court of appeals

The Women’s Law Center of Maryland frequently signs on to amicus briefs written by other local or national organizations that present important issues that have an impact on women.

2016 Amicus Brief Sign Ons

Conover v. Conover- Maryland Court of Appeals.  The WLC filed an amicus brief in the Conover v. Conover case supporting the parenting rights of a non-biological, non-adoptive parent in a same-sex relationship, and highlighting the broader implications that could impact all families throughout the state. (Conover v. Conover WLC Amicus Brief)

Zubik v. Burwell – Supreme Court of the United States. Signed onto a brief submitted by the National Women’s Law Center challenging an employer’s ability to object to accommodations in ACA’s birth control benefits, and require additional economic and legal barriers for women seeking insurance coverage. (Zubik v. Burwell NWLC Amicus Brief)

2015 Amicus Brief Sign Ons

Whole Women’s Heath v. Cole – Supreme Court of the United States. Signed onto a brief submitted by the National Women’s Law Center challenging Texas’ abortion clinic shutdown law. (Whole Women’s Health v. Cole NWLC Amicus Brief)

Fisher v. University of Texas – Supreme Court of the United States. Signed onto a brief submitted by the National Women’s Law Center supporting race conscious admissions policies for higher education. (Fisher V. University of Texas NWLC Amicus Brief)

Obergefell v. Himes – Supreme Court of the United States. Signed onto a brief submitted by the National Women’s Law Center supporting same-sex marriage. (Obergefell v. Himes NWLC Amicus Brief)

King v. Burwell – Supreme Court of the United States. Signed onto a brief submitted by the National Women’s Law Center opposing challenges to the Federal government’s ability to provide tax incentives to purchasers of insurance under the Affordable Care Act. (King v. Burwell NWLC Amicus Brief)

2013 Amicus Brief Sign Ons

Sebilius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestago Wood Specialties v. Sebelius - Supreme Court of the United States.  Brief submitted by the National Women’ s Law Center.  Challenge to the Affordable Care Act requirement for private corporations to provide health insurance coverage for contraception.  (Hobby Lobby – NWLC Brief)

Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District – United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Brief submitted by National Women’s Law Center. Case involved application of Title IX. The brief focused on the validity and practicality of OCR’s three-part test and the need to allow class retaliation suits. (Ollier v Sweetwater NWLC Amicus Brief)

Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District – United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Brief submitted by Women’s Sports Foundation. Case involved application of Title IX. Brief focused on the importance of sports participation for girls and women with emphasis on the benefits in terms of health, education, professional and economic gain. (Ollier v. Sweetwater WSF Amicus Brief)

2012 Amicus Brief Sign Ons

Anthony v. Garrity – Maryland Court of Appeals. Petition for cert submitted by Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP). Case involved a malicious prosecution case filed by an abuser against his victim’s daughter after he was prosecuted unsuccessfully for violation of a protection order.

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin – Supreme Court of the United States. Brief submitted by National Women’s Law Center. Case involved the use of race-conscious admissions in higher education. Brief argued that racial diversity benefits all students and is important to breaking down harmful gender stereotypes and race-conscious admissions policies open pathways to opportunities for women of color.  NWLC Fisher Final brief

Commonweath v. Claybrook – Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Brief submitted by Women’s Law Project. Case involved sexual assault of a college freshman by three men in her dorm room and the lower court decision relied on misconceptions and myths about acquaintance rape and victim behavior, including the victim’s lack of resistance. The brief educated the court about the prevalence of sexual violence on campus and explained why the lower court’s reliance on the insufficient resistance and insufficient physical injury is unsupported by law and inconsistent with victim behavior. (Commonwealth v Claybrook WLP Amicus Brief)

Young v. UPS, Inc. – United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Brief submitted by ACLU Women’s Rights Project. Case involved pregnant worker placed on unpaid leave and UPS policy of denying light duty positions to pregnant workers while granting them to other employees. Brief argued that the treatment of the pregnant worker violated the plain language and the purpose of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien v. Mayor and City Council – United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit En Banc. Brief submitted by Maryland NARAL. Case involved challenge to the Baltimore City ordinance requiring crisis pregnancy centers to post signs stating that abortion services are not provided. Brief argued there is a compelling interest in protecting women from deceptive advertising practices.  (Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v Baltimore en banc amicus FILED)  (Greater Baltimore v City of Baltimore Fourth Circuit Opinion)

2011 Amicus Brief Sign Ons

B.H. et al v. Easton Area School District – Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Brief submitted by Women’s Law Project. First Amendment case in which two middle school students were banned from wearing bracelets promoting breast cancer awareness in school. The brief argued that the ban harmed young women by perpetuating stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes about and toward girls and boys. (B.H. v. Easton Area School District WLP Amicus Brief)

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien v. Mayor and City Council – United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Brief submitted by Maryland NARAL. Case involved challenge to the Baltimore City ordinance requiring crisis pregnancy centers to post signs stating that abortion services are not provided. Brief argued there is a compelling interest in protecting women from deceptive advertising practices. (O’Brien v. Mayor and City Council MDNARAL Amicus Brief)

Dukes v. Walmart – Supreme Court of the United States. Brief submitted by National Women’s Law Center and ACLU. Issue involved whether claims that Walmart discriminates against women in pay and promotions can proceed as a nationwide class action. Brief argued that class actions are essential to addressing the pervasive sex discrimination in pay and promotions. It outlined the history and severity of pay discrimination and explained the difficulties in detecting inequities and in making individual complaints, making class actions necessary to remedy discrimination. (Dukes v. Walmart NWLC Amicus Brief)

Biediger et al. v. Quinnipiac – Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Brief submitted by National Women’s Law Center. Case involved application of Title IX. Brief addressed the meaning of substantial proportionality under the first prong of Title IX’s three-part participation test, the problem of deceptive practices in schools’ reporting of their participation numbers, issuing regarding counting cheerleading and other emerging sports under Title IX and the benefits of sports for women. (Biediger v. Quinnipiac NWLC Amicus Brief)

Affordable Care Act Cases:

Liberty University v. Neal – United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Cuccinelli v. Sebelius – United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida — Supreme Court of the United States.
Briefs submitted by the National Women’s Law Center. These cases involved the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The briefs focus on how the Affordable Care Act improves the lives of women and the ample legal precedent supporting Congress’s power to enact laws that remove obstacles to disadvantaged groups’ full participation in the economy.