A Quarterly Publication of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
American Bar Association.
2019 Midyear Meeting

Upcoming Events

Universal Jurisdiction: Its Successes, Failures and Opportunities to Hold Perpetrators of Human Rights Violations Accountable
Thursday, Jan. 17
12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

Climate Justice: Municipal, Tribal, and Legal Action
Wednesday, Jan. 23
12:00 - 1:30 PM ET

Tinker at 50: Student Activism on Campus
Friday, Jan. 25
All-Day Event

Bail Reform Litigation: Past, Present and Future
Thursday, Jan. 31
3:30 - 5:00 PM ET

AIDS 2019: A Roundtable Discussion of Current and Emerging Legal and Policy Issues
Wednesday, Feb. 6
1:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Representing People with Mental Disabilities: A Practical Webinar for Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tuesday, Feb. 12
1:00 - 2:30 PM ET

To kick off Section Chair Wilson Schooley's Bar Year, in October 2018, the Section Council and leadership traveled to the civil rights triangle: Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama, where we discussed the upcoming year and charted the future of the our Section. It was a powerful, meaningful, immersive experience from which everyone emerged both challenged and energized to continue our Section?s work. Our focus this year is on the overwhelming cumulative, enduring, daily effects of centuries of generational racism, oppression, terrorism and trauma on Black America.
Photographs and commentary on the Fall Meeting   

Member Highlights

Toothless Rights: How Forced Arbitration and Class Action Waivers Undermine Civil Rights at Work

Author David Nahmias headshotDavid Nahmias is a Law Fellow with the Impact Fund, a non-profit legal foundation in Berkeley, California, and a member of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice's Fair and Impartial Courts Committee.

Class and collective actions have long been critical for combatting discrimination and making the guarantees of equality and opportunity, enshrined in our civil rights laws, a reality. When people band together to assert their rights, they can unearth larger patterns of inequality and prejudice and secure widespread, systemic change. Low-wage workers, women, people of color, and people with disabilities have led historic civil rights class actions that have molded our society today.
Read on  
Congratulations to our Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee Co-chair Jason Abel for becoming Partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP of Washington, D.C.

Committee Corner

Reasons Why We Joined the Criminal Justice Committee & Why You Should Too! The Criminal Justice Committee of The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice focuses on protecting the constitutional rights of individuals accused or convicted of crimes. Why should you join the Criminal Justice Committee? Hear from our Committee leaders on why they joined and why you should too!
Read the Committee profile  
African American Affairs Committee
The ABA's Civil Rights and Social Justice Section (CRSJ) has launched a new, overdue and exciting committee that we urge you to actively become involved with: The African American Affairs Committee.

Our Section has a hallowed history: it was formed in response to a June 21, 1963, meeting in which JFK assembled 244 lawyers in Washington, D.C., to discuss civil rights, and to ask why lawyers were not doing more.

In 2016, the Section celebrated its 50th Anniversary of fighting for civil rights. This year we are directing renewed focus on CRSJ's founding concern: our country's four century history of enslaving and oppressing people it captured and transported here under horrific conditions from the African Continent, and our ongoing national denial both of that oppression and of how richly we've profited - financially, intellectually, scientifically, culturally, artistically - from the people we have oppressed. We have not as a country, a national bar association, or even as a Section, fully dealt with the overwhelming cumulative, enduring, daily effects of centuries of institutional and generational racism, oppression, terrorism and trauma on Black America.

As a Section forged in the Civil Rights movement, we must be in the thick of the conversation about this shameful side of the American Dream, and at the forefront of creating a counter-narrative with solutions to our collective American silence on the history of the atrocities that were suffered; the enduring effects of slavery, racism, and domestic terror; and our undeniable enrichment from the people America enslaves.

CRSJ has Four Divisions of specialized committees addressing national issues, omissions, and denials of rights and justice. One of those is the Individual and Group Rights Division, within which we have long had these committees:
  1. Elder Rights Committee
  2. Disability Rights Committee
  3. Native American Concerns Committee
  4. Rights of Immigrants Committee
  5. Rights of Women Committee
  6. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee
We also have a separate Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee as part of our Civil Rights Division.

This year, we have added a committee that looks head-on and clear-eyed at one of our two greatest national original sins: slavery and its enduring and indelible stain, and the ensuing 400 years of institutionalized racism and oppression facing the descendants of slaves. The African American Affairs Committee addresses all of that, and the daily burdens of being Black in America - the hourly struggle of living under the weight of institutional and cultural racial oppression.

Please join us, help breathe life into this vital committee, and launch it forward.


Supreme Court Banner

Written by Samaneh Pourhassan, CRSJ Legal Intern, Spring 2019


With Justice Kavanaugh?s confirmation to the Court and Justice Ginsberg recovering from surgery, the 2018-2019 Term has recommenced with a full docket. This term covers a range of issues from criminal justice to first amendment rights. Here?s a look at the Highlights of the 2018-2019 Term.


Full update on the upcoming SCOTUS term  
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