WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement at the conclusion of the 2016 presidential election:
“We stand at a critical moment in American democracy. Events over the past year make clear that our nation is deeply divided. We must work together to bridge this divide to create the conditions necessary to achieve unity, promote cross-racial understanding and eliminate racial tensions.
The origins of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) lie inside the White House. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued a call for lawyers across the country to mobilize to help combat discrimination and protect the rights of minorities. While some progress has been made, we know that this progress is fragile and can be easily unraveled. As we prepare for President-Elect Donald Trump’s tenure and a change in administration, the Lawyers’ Committee will continue to advocate for policies that ensure that every man, woman and child living in this nation is treated with dignity, fairness, respect and equality. In 2017, we will aggressively push the new administration, as we have consistently pushed every administration for decades, to take action to promote and ensure equality and justice under law for all.
As we move towards 2017, there is unfinished business on core civil rights issues that must remain at the forefront of our national agenda. Key issues include:
- Restoration of the Voting Rights Act and strong enforcement of federal civil rights laws to address evidence of ongoing voting discrimination and voter suppression in many communities across the country, and made evident throughout the 2016 election cycle;
- Policing reform to help strengthen police-community relations and end the scourge of unconstitutional policing practices in cities across the U.S.; and
- Sentencing reform to address stark racial disparities in federal sentencing, an issue that enjoys strong bipartisan support.
Last evening, citizens across the country exercised their First Amendment rights in response to the November 8 election. These demonstrations make evident the deep level of polarization and divisiveness that exists in our country and underscores the need for leadership that promotes unity. The fate of American democracy is at stake.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; employment; voting; education; and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.