This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: April 2

Welcome to This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

This week, the White House announced that a citizenship question would be added to the census, hundreds protested the shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, and Facebook was sued for fair housing violations.

Criminal Legal System

North Carolina ends shackling of prison inmates during childbirth. North Carolina joins eighteen other states in prohibiting this practice, which the American Medical Association has described as “barbaric.” (The Guardian)

Education

Linda Brown dies at 75. Brown was thrust into the spotlight as the center of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which found school segregation unconstitutional. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

Housing

Facebook is being sued for its failure to end discriminatory housing ads. The National Fair Housing Alliance alleges that Facebook’s advertising platform allows landlords and real estate brokers to discriminate against families with children. (NY Times)

Immigration

Twelve states will sue the Trump Administration for adding a citizenship question to the census. State attorneys general argue that adding a citizenship question will cause fewer Americans to be counted, as it could depress response rates from immigrants. The Constitution requires that every individual be counted regardless of citizenship status. (NY Times)

ICE will now detain pregnant women. An internal ICE memo detailed the new policy, which follows President Trump’s executive order directing immigration officers to target all undocumented immigrants. Under an Obama-era policy, ICE did not detain pregnant immigrants except in “extraordinary circumstances.” (Time)

Judiciary

Stephen Reinhardt, ‘liberal lion’ of the 9th Circuit, dies at 87. Judge Reinhardt was known for his rulings in favor of criminal defendants, minorities, and immigrants, which were often overturned by the Supreme Court. (LA Times)

Labor

Munger Tolles will scrap employee arbitration agreements. The Los Angeles-based litigation firm will no longer force employees to sign arbitration agreements after facing criticism on Twitter from Harvard Law School lecturer Ian Samuel. The agreements required employees to arbitrate claims including those involving sexual harassment. (Big Law Business)

Oklahoma teachers are planning a state-wide walkout. Despite a bill passed last week that provided teachers with a slight pay raise, the package doesn’t fix funding shortfalls in Oklahoma schools. Oklahoma ranks among the worst states when it comes to education funding and teacher pay. (Time)

Policing

Civil rights groups sue homeland security over targeted surveillance. The advocates allege that documents from FOIA requests show that the Black activists and organizers were the victims of targeted surveillance by the Department of Homeland security in violation of their First Amendment rights. (St. Louis American)

Hundreds filled Sacramento City Hall in protest of Stephon Clark’s killing. Clark was fatally shot by Sacramento police officers while in his grandmother’s backyard. The City Council held a special meeting to hear public comments and the office of the state attorney general will oversee the investigation. (NY Times)

Chicago youth staged a ‘die-in’ in City Hall to demand defunding of $95 million cop academy. They demand that this funding be redirected into Chicago’s most marginalized communities to fund schools, mental health centers, and job training. (Chicago Tribune)

Reproductive Rights

Kentucky House of Representatives passes new abortion restrictions bill. The bill would ban a procedure from the 11th week of pregnancy, making it one of the strictest limits in the country. (Reuters)

Voting Rights

Supreme Court torn on gerrymandering. The Court heard arguments last week in Benisek v. Lamone, about whether voting maps can be so distorted by politics that they violate the Constitution. This is the second partisan gerrymandering case they have heard argument on this term. (NY Times)

 

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Alisha is a 1L at HLS from San Diego. She graduated from Yale with a BA in Political Science and worked before law school at a public interest firm on fair housing and fair lending cases. This summer, she will be working at the ACLU of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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