Civil Rights

3863 ABA Journal Civil Rights articles.

Appeals court won’t use word ‘grandfathering’ because of racist origins
The Massachusetts Appeals Court has taken a stand against the word “grandfathering” in a footnote highlighting its racist origins.
Legal community has a ‘special responsibility to fight injustice,’ ABA president says in final speech

“Let none of us say the job is too big or the problems of racism run too deep,” ABA President Judy Perry Martinez said in prerecorded remarks for the House of Delegates. “This is our torch to carry.”

Lawsuit allowed against officer accused of holding woman down with his knees
A federal appeals court has allowed a lawsuit against a police officer accused of throwing a handcuffed woman facedown on the grass and crushing her back with his knees.
Divided Supreme Court refuses to block border wall construction
In a 5-4 vote Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block President Donald Trump from spending military funds on the border wall as litigation continues.
Activists are fighting new voter suppression tactics in court

Despite legislative achievements, it wasn’t long until end runs were made around voter protection laws, and those efforts are alive and well, election law attorneys and voting rights advocates say.

Your vote is your voice

“As we approach the 2020 presidential election, many Americans are calling it the most consequential of their lifetime. But all elections are important, whether for school boards, local judges, town councils or the U.S. Senate,” writes ABA President Judy Perry Martinez.

Could this be America’s tipping point?

America is struggling to emerge from dark and uncertain times. COVID-19, record unemployment, civil unrest. As the turmoil unfolds, there has been a seismic shift in the national discourse, and 2020 may be one of those defining years of resurgence that bends the arc, ever so slightly, toward justice.

High-profile killings of unarmed Black people spark calls for reform

The seeds that inflamed America’s intense national debate over race and criminal justice were planted months before George Floyd was killed by police on a Minneapolis street in late May. The buildup to the country’s summer of civil unrest began in a quiet subdivision just outside of Brunswick, Georgia, where an unarmed Black man out jogging was shot and killed on Feb. 23 by two armed white men.

Two young Native American lawyers call for action on missing and murdered indigenous women

Lauren van Schilfgaarde and Heather Torres introduced the ABA to the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis in February by first sharing the stories of those who suffered. Those stories resonated with the ABA House of Delegates.

Federal judge demands US identify inaccurate and misleading statements made in filings
A federal judge in New York has ordered the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to disclose all the inaccurate or misleading statements made to the court in defense of a decision to oust New York from expedited border crossing programs.
Afternoon Briefs: BigLaw firm reveals ‘stay gap;’ full DC Circuit will hear Michael Flynn case

Allen & Overy reveals its ‘stay gap’

Allen & Overy is the first major law firm to disclose its “stay gap”—the difference in retention between minority and white lawyers. Black,…

Texas bar president promises plan to address divisions created by his Black Lives Matter posts
Larry McDougal, president of the State Bar of Texas, has until Sept. 24 to outline his plan to address divisions created by his online posts.
Indian scholar’s release from detention shows importance of international human rights work

As a member of the ABA Center for Human Rights team, Waris Husain has the privilege of helping those on the front line of justice across Asia. One recent case highlights CHR’s ability to take immediate action to assist a justice defender in danger.

Littler associate is 1 of at least 2 lawyers arrested at Portland demonstrations
At least two lawyers are facing federal charges following demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, that began July 20 and continued into the early-morning hours of July 21.
Afternoon Briefs: Stealth layoffs are a bad idea, expert says; ACLU seeks sanction against feds

Stealth layoffs could affect law firm ‘vitality,’ expert says

Attributing layoffs to performance rather than economic issues—so-called stealth layoffs—could harm associate relationships with law firm partners and leaders, according to…

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