Allison Jones Rushing exemplifies the young, minimally qualified, and highly ideological type of judicial nominee that the Trump Administration has consistently sought. Like many other Trump nominees, she appears to have been chosen on the basis of her record of commitment to conservative causes and organizations rather than her legal career and experience. Prior to her confirmation to the Fourth Circuit, Rushing fought against the rights of LGBTQ people as a legal intern at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group which “has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.” She also worked as a corporate appellate lawyer, arguing in one case that employees who were denied overtime pay could then be deprived by their employers of the right to unite and join as a class action in arbitration under the National Labor Relations Act. As a judge, she tried to dismiss a case against Donald Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause and ruled that the Trump Administration’s domestic gag rule that forbids federally-funded clinics from discussing abortion with their patients can go into effect in Baltimore while an injunction is appealed.
After being confirmed to the Fourth Circuit, Judge Rushing held in Mey v. DirectTV to compel arbitration of Diana Mey’s claim against DIRECTV for making unwanted telemarketing calls, in violation of federal consumer protection law. Rushing’s decision was based merely on the fact that Mey had signed an arbitration agreement eight years earlier with AT&Twhen she bought a cell phone. AT&T bought DIRECTV three years after Mey had signed the contract, and Rushing held that was enough to compel arbitration. Judge Pamela Harris, in dissent, argued that no reasonable person buying cellphone services from AT&T, and entering into the accompanying arbitration agreement, “would have reason to believe she was signing away her right to sue any and all corporate entities that might later come under the same corporate umbrella.” Harris emphasized the fact that Mey was never a DIRECTV customer and had never signed a contract with DIRECTV containing an arbitration clause.
The Alliance for Justice strongly opposes the consideration of Allison Jones Rushing for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.