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Case Name National Association of the Deaf v. Trump DR-DC-0008
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-02107 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On August 3, 2020, the National Association for the Deaf and five plaintiffs who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary and preferred language brought this action against President Trump and other members of the White House staff (ECF 1). Following the onset of the Covid-19 ... read more >
On August 3, 2020, the National Association for the Deaf and five plaintiffs who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary and preferred language brought this action against President Trump and other members of the White House staff (ECF 1). Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the White House began holding televised briefings with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The briefings did not include in-frame ASL interpretation, the approach adopted by many governors in their own Covid-19 briefings.

The plaintiffs sued President Trump and other members of the White House alleging that the defendants' failure to provide in-frame ASL interpretation constituted a violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and declaratory relief.

The case was assigned to Judge James E. Boasberg of the District Court for the District of Columbia.

On September 9, 2020, Judge Boasberg signed an order granting the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary relief. 2020 WL 5411171. The order was stayed until the parties conferred regarding the proper remedy. The parties reached general agreement on the conditions of the injunction, and on September 23, 2020, Judge Boasberg issued an order defining the scope of the preliminary injunction. 2020 WL 5757463. Under the preliminary injunction, defendants were required to include a qualified ASL interpreter in the White House Communications Agency feed for all White House Coronavirus briefings. The interpretation was required to either take the form of an in-frame interpretation by an interpreter near the speaker or a simultaneous stream with an interpreter from a remote location in a picture-in-picture format (PIP). If Defendants used the PIP approach, they were required to make that video feed available to television networks so that they can use the ASL interpretation in their own broadcasts.

Following the court's order of a preliminary injunction, the defendants appealed to the DC Circuit and moved to stay District Court proceedings until the appeal was resolved. Judge Boasberg ordered a stay on all further proceedings pending the resolution of Defendants' appeal.

The case remains open.

Gabrielle Simeck - 02/23/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Reasonable Accommodation
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Effective Communication (ADA)
Language access/needs
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
TTY/Close Captioning/Videophone/etc.
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. ยง 701
Defendant(s) Office of the Vice President
President of the United States
Press Secretary
the Executive Office of the President
Vice President of the United States
White House Office
Plaintiff Description NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF and five deaf individuals whose primary and preferred language is American Sign Language.
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 08/03/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
01/22/2021
1:20-cv-02107-JEB
DR-DC-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
08/03/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-DC-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/03/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Request for Hearing [ECF# 2 & 2-1 to 2-13]
DR-DC-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/14/2020
Defendants' Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 9 & 9-1]
DR-DC-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/20/2020
Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 11]
DR-DC-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
09/09/2020
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 18] (486 F.Supp.3d 45)
DR-DC-0008-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
09/23/2020
Order [ECF# 22] (2020 WL 5757463)
DR-DC-0008-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Boasberg, James Emanuel (FISC, D.D.C.) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0005 | DR-DC-0008-0006 | DR-DC-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Charmatz, Marc P. (Maryland) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0001 | DR-DC-0008-0002 | DR-DC-0008-0004
Hoffman, Ian S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0001 | DR-DC-0008-0002 | DR-DC-0008-0004 | DR-DC-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Ethan P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0003
Morrell, David Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0003 | DR-DC-0008-9000
Richer, Amber (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0003 | DR-DC-0008-9000
Ricketts, Jennifer (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0003
Wells, Carlotta (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-DC-0008-0003 | DR-DC-0008-9000

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