NWLC Responds to Supreme Court Ruling Sharply Limiting Justice for Victims of Discrimination and Harassment

(Washington D.C.) In August 2021 the National Women’s Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, and NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund filed an amicus brief in support of Jane Cummings and her disability discrimination case. Our brief argued that all federal civil rights laws—including those prohibiting race, sex, or other discrimination —must allow victims to recover damages for their emotional distress in order to compensate them for the harms caused by sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination. 

The following is a statement from Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, on today’s Supreme Court Ruling:   

“Today’s Supreme Court decision in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller is a shameful and insidious attack on those who experience discrimination. In particular, it will harm patients who are denied vital healthcare because of discrimination, and it will leave many others without any meaningful legal remedy at all.  

Make no mistake, this shocking decision is also a stealth attack on student survivors of sexual harassment, many of whom will now be unable to receive any sort of justice in the courts. Telling victims of discrimination that they can no longer receive compensation for their emotional suffering is an affront to the core purposes of the ACA and Title IX, as well as the Rehabilitation Act and Title VI. Congress must urgently act to fix this gross injustice and help ensure that institutions which enable harassment and discrimination to flourish can be held accountable for the serious harms they cause to patients, students, and others.”