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Updates from the Lawyers’ Committee

Blog March 15, 2018

The Results Are In: Mandate School Discipline Reform to Protect the Rights of Students of Color

“The undeniable truth is that the everyday education experiences for too many students of color violate the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise.” former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan   J.J Powell, a preschool student, was labeled dangerous and destructive by teachers at the age of four and has been suspended from school five times for minor instances such as hitting a teacher on the arm. Unfortunately, JJ’s story is not unique, but rather part of a pattern of harsh disciplinary tactics in schools nationwide. A ten-year-old fifth-grade student climbed on top of a table in class and was handcuffed and pinned face down by police officers as a result. A fifteen-year-old eighth-grade student was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to a juvenile detention center for six days for throwing candy at another student on a school bus. Despite these instances of discipline occurring in public schools […]

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States That Have Decriminalized Marijuana Should Expunge Prior Pot Convictions, Activists Say

March 14, 2018

The Intercept

A group of legal activists is calling on district attorneys in eight states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana to take the next logical step: expunge the records of people charged with misdemeanors related to marijuana possession.

“Unprecedented & Shocking”: Armed Secret Service Agents Should Not Be Allowed at Polling Sites

March 13, 2018

Democracy Now

“The idea of having federal law enforcement agents patrolling, roaming inside polling places, harkens back to tactics that we saw during the Jim Crow era.”

Lawmakers fear arming school staff could harm black and Hispanic students

March 8, 2018


Numerous studies make it clear that minority students are more likely to be stereotyped as violent and singled out for disproportionate disciplinary action, said Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

More civil rights groups support appeal in voter ID lawsuit

March 4, 2018

Associated Press

More civil rights groups are challenging a federal judge’s ruling that an Alabama voter ID law is not discriminatory.

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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