Amicus Blog

This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Welcome to This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. SCOTUS will consider access to medical abortions, while the 11th Circuit ok’d Florida’s pay-to-vote system for people convicted of felonies. Three studies shed light on a host of inequities facing Illinois...

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School Policing was Designed to Criminalize Black Students. We Must Follow Black Voices Calling for its Abolition.

The recent uprisings in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people by police have amplified decades-long efforts by Black students and activists to abolish school police. We must collectively follow these Black leaders to ensure that schools are redesigned to nurture their most vulnerable students.

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Welfare as Policing and Calls to the Defund the Police

The criminalization of welfare, then, is a reminder that calls to divest from police and reinvest in social services must also be accompanied by calls to address the surveillance and stigma that currently comes with receiving assistance. Welfare programs often mirror many of the tactics and organizing principles of policing. Through surveillance and an onslaught of bureaucratic hoops to jump through, one feels “the psychic weight of living their lives under the watchful eye of the state.”

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A Safe and Flourishing Future: One Law Student’s Case for Abolition

If you are new to abolition, I do not expect you to fully embrace these values. Rather, I again ask you to be courageously curious. When presented with new ideas, people project their own wants and needs onto them to make them familiar. Because abolition is borne from Black radical imagination, most people’s projections evoke fear. Black radical imagination is completely counter to the standard we are told to orient towards. Even with more people discussing race issues, we as a collective are still taught to fear and criminalize Blackness, especially in law school where the golden standard is white male “objectivity.”

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The Ostrich Rears its Head: America’s 2020 Racial Reckoning is a Victory and Opportunity

The recognition of the pain that so many Black people experience is bittersweet. While a hard-fought culture war victory, it reflects the tragic reality that acknowledgment of this anguish was culture war fodder at all. We live in a world where a 12-year-old playing in a park with a toy gun was shot within two seconds, but mass murderers who target children, synagogues, and churchgoers are apprehended alive to have their day in court.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic and the War on Women

Research is being conducted on the various ways that this COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting different pockets of society. What this research is showing is that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating many of the problems that women face in the United States and around the world today.

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We're now accepting student writing submissions for Vol. 56.2 from HLS students on any topic related to civil rights or civil liberties! Get your submission in to by Sun., 10/11/20. For more information, visit

The lives of Black victims do not matter nearly as much as those of white ones when it comes to the death penalty, a new study finds.

Applications are open for article submissions for CR-CL 56.2. Please submit any articles that broadly touch on civil rights and civil liberties for publication. Details can be found here:

Check out our newest blog post by Christina Coleburn about confronting racism!

Check out the second article in our series about racism and police brutality! Olivia Murray discusses prison abolition:

Check out "Why We Can't Wait"—a powerful piece by Mo Light and the first in our new online series about racism and police brutality:

As a journal, we stand with the student protestors HLS is attempting to discipline for exercising their free speech rights regarding prison divestment. Please sign the petition here:

We have 3 terrific pieces up on how progressives must reclaim the meaning of our Constitution.

Our contributors reflect back on progressives' priorities at the beginning of the Obama Administration and look forward to fights in 2021 and beyond.

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