Courts Falling Behind Serving the Needs of America’s Workers - Alliance for Justice

Courts Falling Behind Serving the Needs of America’s Workers

Press Release




Press Contact

Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2024 – To mark May Day (International Workers’ Day), Alliance for Justice has issued an addendum to its 2022 report on the federal courts’ dearth of judges with experience serving workers. The update highlights labor-side attorneys nominated and confirmed to the courts since the original report and recent court cases that have impacted workers.

While President Biden has nominated several appeals court judges with experience advocating for workers, several of the few other judges on the bench with similar records have taken senior status or retired. That means Biden’s first term may end with just 1% of those serving on the circuit courts having such experience – nearly the same as where it started.

In the two years since AFJ’s original report, several court cases have also weakened protections for workers, with more decisions pending this Supreme Court term that could create further setbacks.

Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:

“President Biden has nominated more union-side lawyers than any president since Jimmy Carter, including the recent stellar nomination of former SEIU general counsel, Nicole Berner, to the Fourth Circuit. But the unfortunate truth is that the nation will still lose ground on the total number of federal judges with economic justice experience if the president doesn’t nominate more people with that important experience before the end of this year.

“Unions are booming across the nation, including good news this week of the union election certification for Volkswagen employees in Chattanooga. Americans are remembering the role that unions have played in advocating for safe and fair workplaces, but our courts are falling behind. We encourage the White House and Senate to redouble their efforts to recruit fair-minded judges who understand the needs of workers. We will continue our commitment to establishing a pipeline for labor lawyers to find their way to the federal bench, where we desperately need their expertise.”

Click here to read “2024’s Latest on Economic Justice and Labor Law Judges: Meet the Judges Bringing Economic Justice.”