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Updates from the Lawyers’ Committee

Blog January 20, 2017

Jeff Sessions Would Gut Civil Rights Enforcement

Law360 https://www.law360.com/articles/882757/jeff-sessions-would-gut-civil-rights-enforcement As a former attorney in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, I appreciate the critical role of this federal agency. I saw first-hand the impact that hostility to the mission can bring to the work. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Civil Rights Division. Launched after passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the division enforces federal civil rights laws and protects our nation’s most vulnerable communities. The pending nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as attorney general threatens to gut the work of the division. There are two areas of grave concern that persist following his nomination hearing. First, the Justice Department’s work to address unconstitutional policing practices has been transformative and among the division’s most important work. However, Sessions expressed no meaningful recognition of policing problems gripping the nation. With 18,000 law enforcement agencies across our country, the Justice Department has focused on a small share […]

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AJC Watchdog: DC lawyers, liberal groups push 6th District lawsuit

April 27, 2017


Houk said Georgia isn’t a special target of the committee. But the group has been very active in Georgia in the four years since the Supreme Court struck down protections against racial discrimination embedded in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those protections required changes in voting practices and boundaries in Georgia and other mostly Southern states with a history of discriminatory practices to get federal approval.

After Hate Crimes, Victims Get Stuck With the Bill

April 26, 2017

The New York Times

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law recently began operating a hotline at 844-9-NO-HATE (844-966-4283), through which volunteers can help callers find legal representation. But beyond that, “there is no real comprehensive network around the country” to connect victims of hate crimes or harassment with lawyers, said Betsy Shuman-Moore, the director of the Hate Crime Project at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. In the Chicago area, she added, legal resources for hate crime victims have actually decreased in recent years.

AP: Lawsuit: 2015 redistricting violated black voters’ rights

April 24, 2017

Associated Press

“Lawmakers firmly placed their thumb on the scale by redrawing district boundaries in ways that would preserve their incumbency and freeze the status quo in place,” said Kristen Clarke

Lawsuit: GA House districts ‘gerrymandered’ to remove minority voters

April 24, 2017


“guarantee the election of white incumbents,” Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers Committee, said Monday.
Clarke said: “Reduce the ability of African-American and other minority voters to elect candidates of their choice.”
Bill Custer, a partner at Bryan Cave law firm in Atlanta, who is helping bring the suit, said, “we need to, and are able to, prove that race was used as the predominant factor for drawing the district lines.”

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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