Articles by: CRCL

  • In Their Own Words: Remedying Restitution for Victims of Child Pornography

    Courts, Criminal Justice, Issue Areas August 22, 2011 at 9:01 am 2 comments

    The Crime Victims’ Rights Act gave crime victims the right to notice of any public court proceeding involving the perpetrator and full and timely restitution. Under the CVRA, notice is given to victims whenever a criminal defendant, anywhere in the country and who would otherwise have been unknown to the victim, is convicted of any child pornography offense involving their images, including cases where the defendant only possessed images without having done more. Suddenly, victims could go after a new and potentially massive group of defendants for restitution.

  • In Their Own Words – Challenging Inequalities in Public School Funding

    Education, Issue Areas August 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm 0 comments

    Trial for Lobato v. State started this week in a Colorado district court, a case in which 14 school districts from the relatively low-property tax area of San Luis Valley sued the State of Colorado, the State Board of Education, and the Governor, arguing the state has violated Colorado’s constitution by mandating programs in low-income schools that are already underfunded. The plaintiffs have asked for ongoing injunctions requiring the state to restructure school funding and ensure adequate education for all students via judicial oversight until the overhaul of the funding scheme is complete.

  • In Their Own Words – Equal Access to “Highly Qualified” Teachers

    Education, Issue Areas August 12, 2011 at 11:22 am 0 comments

    Educational inequity is a civil rights issue. Just choose your statistic – numerous studies show how educational achievement maps onto race and socioeconomic status (such as the finding that “by the end of high school, black and Hispanic students’ reading and mathematics skills are roughly the same as those of white students in the eighth grade.”) This inequity undercuts the provision in every state constitution that grants every child a right to education.

  • In Their Own Words – Campaign Finance and Corruption

    According to the Roberts Court, the only form of “corruption” that the Government has a legitimate interest in seeking to prevent through campaign finance regulation is quid pro quo corruption, i.e. the trading of cash for votes. By limiting the “corruption” interest in this way, the Roberts Court has thus been able to argue that any threat of undue influence can be satisfactorily addressed through caps on individual donations to candidates. As a result, the “corruption” interest appeared to have lost most, if not all, of its critical force after Citizens United.

  • In Their Own Words – Identifying and Training Great Teachers

    Education, Issue Areas August 10, 2011 at 11:53 am 0 comments

    The past two decades have seen the filing of dozens of cases of so-called “educational adequacy” litigation, state court cases in which plaintiffs have charged that the state has a responsibility to offer all of its children an adequate education. State Supreme Courts throughout the country have held, in clear and forceful terms, that students have a right to an education that will allow them to make effective life decisions, play a meaningful role in the political process, and compete favorably in the job market.

  • In Their Own Words – Fl. Governor Rick Scott & Economic Profiling

    Last month, Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed a bill requiring Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients to undergo drug testing. If a recipient tests positive for drugs, she or he becomes ineligible for benefits. Critics’ Fourth Amendment arguments against the legislation may ultimately lead to its invalidation – however from a civil rights perspective, the discriminatory nature of the legislation is even more important.

  • In Their Own Words – The Victimhood Narrative

    Issue Areas, Race and Immigration August 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm 0 comments

    While there has always been a resistance to affirmative action policies, the present debate has added a new dimension. There has been a rise in rhetoric concerning the notion of white victimhood, and policies like affirmative action are cited as justification for these theories. This victimhood narrative is important because of the way it portrays affirmative action policies as oppressive and discriminatory.

  • Too Big to Sue: Supreme Court Dismisses Class Action Suit Against Wal-Mart

    The saga of Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the largest class-action discrimination lawsuit in history, came to a close todaywhen the Supreme Court ruled that the lawsuit could not proceed. The suit, brought on behalf of 1.6 million female Wal-Mart employees who faced discrimination in hiring or promotions, was dismissed because it […]

  • Essay: At Least One Thing to Watch For In The First Circuit's DOMA Case

    By Mary L. Bonauto and Gary D. Buseck Contrary to much of the commentary about the President’s decision not to defend DOMA in court, the issue of the standard of review for sexual orientation classifications is still a live claim in the First Circuit in the upcoming appeal of the […]

  • Women's Access to Health Services Targeted in Budget Debate

    Funding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health services in general appears to be in the crosshairs this week as Republicans and Democrats try to resolve budget differences. Planned Parenthood provides a variety of women’s health services, including cancer screenings and STD testing, at over 800 locations nationwide. 75 percent of […]

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