Court responds to legal challenges filed by various civil rights and LGBTQ groups
On December 22, 2020, a nationwide preliminary injunction, prohibiting the enforcement of Sections 4 and 5 of the Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping E.O. 13950, was issued by a federal judge for the Northern District of California. These sections relate to government contractors and grantees but do not affect those sections applying to the federal workforce or the uniformed services.
On October 29 and November 2, 2020, civil rights and LGBT advocacy groups filed lawsuits challenging President Trump’s E.O. 13950 alleging that the Order violates the First and Fifth Amendments by infringing on the Constitution’s guarantees of Free Speech, Equal Protection, and Due Process. The first challenge was filed by the National Urban League and the National Fair Housing Alliance in the District of Columbia. The second challenge was filed by various LGBTQ groups, including the Santa Cruz Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Northern California. Some of the named defendants (17 federal agencies and officials) include President Trump; Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia; OFCCP; the OMB; the DOJ; and Attorney General William Barr.
District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, an Obama appointee, agreed with the plaintiffs and concluded that they are likely to prevail on their claims that the E.O. unlawfully infringes on their freedom of speech and that it is void for vagueness. The order prohibits federal agencies named as defendants from the following actions:
Requiring contractors to provide notices to unions.
Including the contract clause in government contracts or requiring contractors to include the clause in subcontracts.
Canceling or suspending a contractor for not complying with the executive order.
Using a hotline to collect information regarding contractors’ alleged noncompliance.
Investigating contractors’ alleged noncompliance and taking enforcement action.
- Publishing additional requests for information regarding training programs of contractors.
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