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Election Protection Provided Support and Intervention Nationwide During 2018 November 6 Primary Elections

Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, provided live assistance to more than 31,000 voters through its suite of hotlines.

Updates from the Lawyers’ Committee

Blog November 8, 2018

Civil Rights Organizations Request Extension of Poll Hours in Maricopa County, Arizona

On Election Day the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Arizona Advocacy Foundation and All Voting is Local-Arizona sent a letter, demanding that the Maricopa County Arizona Board of Supervisors and the County Recorder extend voting hours in polling locations throughout Arizona’s largest county. The purpose of the demand is to allow those voters who could not vote in the morning and would not be able to vote before the 7 pm closing time. There has been record voter turnout this election, but it has resulted in technology glitches and printing problems rendering some polling places unavailable to voters. The Election Protection hotline has received numerous calls from registered Maricopa County voters who indicated that they were unable to vote at their assigned polling locations or at a vote center due to these problems. As a result, voters left polling places or were told to go to other […]

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Neo-Nazis Have No First Amendment Right to Harassment, Judge Rules

November 16, 2018

The New York Times

A lawsuit accusing the publisher of the neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer of coordinating a “terror campaign” of online harassment against a Jewish real estate agent cannot be dismissed on First Amendment grounds, a federal judge in Montana ruled this week.

In his ruling denying a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Dana L. Christensen, the chief judge for United States District Court in Missoula, Mont., wrote that the real estate agent, Tanya Gersh, was a private citizen, not a public figure, and that the publisher, Andrew Anglin, incited his followers to harass her as part of a personal campaign.

The events that spurred the lawsuit began in the fall of 2016, when The Daily Stormer published a series of articles attacking Ms. Gersh, of Whitefish, Mont., for her interactions with Sherry Spencer, the mother of the white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.

In one of his final actions as attorney general, Sessions moves to restrict police reform agreements

November 13, 2018

The Washington Post

Civil rights leaders lashed out Friday at Jeff Sessions, who in one of his last acts as attorney general approved an order restricting the federal government’s ability to enforce changes at state and local law enforcement agencies accused of abuse.

In a memo released late Thursday by the Justice Department and praised by police organizations, Sessions expanded the requirements for court-enforced “consent decrees” reached with state and local government entities. Sessions signed the memo Wednesday, the day he resigned.

It says that two senior political appointees at the Justice Department must approve nearly all future agreements. The decrees also are to have a “sunset” provision, limiting them to no more than three years. And Justice attorneys now must meet additional requirements beyond establishing that a police department repeatedly violated the Constitution.

America’s Pro-Democracy Movement

November 12, 2018

The New York Times

A handful of states approved pro-democracy measures, often by wide margins. These measures are expected to make voter registration easier, reduce gerrymandering and give back the franchise to people with past felony convictions.

These ideas are popular with liberals, centrists and a good number of conservatives too. And progressive activists have come to understand that this issue needs to be one of their top priorities.

If the quality of our democracy doesn’t improve, many other policy priorities could be impossible to achieve. I think the United States finally has the pro-democracy movement that it needs — a movement not only to fight back against efforts by Republican leaders to make voting harder but also to go on the offensive. My column today is about that pro-democracy movement and what should come next for it.

Harvard students to testify as affirmative action trial nears end

October 29, 2018

CNN

As the challenge against Harvard’s admissions practices enters its final week of trial, a federal judge who has heard from education and data experts will now listen to testimony from current and former students attesting to the benefits of a racially diverse campus.

US District Court Judge Allison Burroughs observed in her order that allowing outside testimony from students, represented by major civil rights organizations, would offer “valuable perspectives that will otherwise be absent from the trial.” The challenge to Harvard was brought by a group known as Students for Fair Admissions, formed by a longtime opponent of racial affirmative action, that contends Harvard engages in unlawful “racial balancing” in a screening process that benefits black and Latinos applicants at the expense of Asian-Americans.

The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity - work that continues to be vital today.

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