This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: October 1

Welcome to This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

This week, over a thousand migrant children are being imprisoned in a desert tent camp in Texas, California’s efforts to fight forced arbitration were thwarted, and Pennsylvania prisons banned paper books.

 

1,600 Migrant Children Interned in Texas Tent Camp: Hundreds of the 13,000 children detained by immigration authorities have been transported to an unregulated desert camp, with no schooling and little access to legal aid. (New York Times)

DHS Proposes That Credit Scores Determine Immigrants’ Green Card Eligibility: The policy may force immigrants to decide between receiving certain forms of public assistance to avoid trouble with immigration agents. (MarketWatch)

Forced Arbitration Clause Shuts Down Uber Drivers’ Class Action for Employee Status: The 9th Circuit reversed a lower court’s decision to certify the class because drivers’ contracts contained a mandatory arbitration agreement. (San Francisco Chronicle)

California Governor Jerry Brown Vetoed Bill to Ban Forced Arbitration: Assembly Bill 3080 would have banned forced arbitration agreements, but Brown wrote that the bill “plainly violates federal law” as interpreted by the Supreme Court. (Office of the Governor)

Pennsylvania Prisons Ban Books and Transition to EbooksThe state is banning books for prisoners as a “security measure,” but the replacement ebook system, from which prison telecommunications giant GTL will profit, offers a limited selection and is prohibitively expensive for low-income families. (Quartz)

Georgia’s Special Education System is Separate and Unequal: A statewide network of schools for disabled students has trapped black children in neglect and isolation. (New Yorker)

Trump Administration Prepares to Weaken Mercury Emission Regulations: The coal industry has lobbied to weaken the mercury rule, which the E.P.A. considers the most expensive clean air regulation to industry, although mercury is known to damage the nervous systems of children and fetuses. (New York Times)

Facebook Reprimands Memphis Police for Using Fake Accounts: The company’s letter instructs Memphis Police to immediate cease their violation of Facebook’s terms of service, following a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Tennessee accusing the MPD of illegally monitoring activists. (Fox 13 Memphis)

Bail Reformers Resist Risk Assessment Reforms: As calls to abolish cash bail spread across the country, an increasing number of jurisdictions are moving towards risk-assessment algorithms, but pretrial risk assessment could expand the net of who can be detained preventively. (The Atlantic)

Boston Public Schools Sought to Advance Racial Equity Using an Algorithm: An effort to more-evenly distribute school start times across neighborhoods delivered more systemic equity, but upended the morning schedules of too many households, including many black and brown families. (Boston Globe)

California’s Net Neutrality Challenged: The Justice Department sued to stop the state’s new law, which would guarantee full and equal access to the internet. (New York Times)

What We Still Have to Learn from Anita Hill’s Testimony: Kimberlé Crenshaw wrote for the New York Times on the unfinished work at the intersection of race and feminism that Anita Hill brought to the forefront in 1991. (New York Times)

Judge Rules Harvard Admissions Suit Must Proceed to Trial: U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs ruled Friday that the admissions lawsuit alleging Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants must go to trial in October. (Harvard Crimson)

 

 

Written by

Vail Kohnert-Yount is a Harvard Law student, Georgetown University alumna, and native Texan. Follow her at @vailkoyo.

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