Amicus Blog

What’s Happening in the NRA’s Backyard?

When gun control measures stalled at the national level, advocates took a page out of the conservative playbook: they focused on the states. This is not to say that there haven’t been hard-won victories at the national level. After Democrats regained control of the...

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This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: February 24, 2020

This week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump administration’s right to prevent immigrants from accessing public assistance, The Fifth Circuit struck down Mississippi’s fetal heartbeat abortion ban, and the Eleventh Circuit ruled that ex-felons in Florida cannot be barred from voting over unpaid court fees. Meanwhile, California issued an apology for its role in Japanese internment, and the ACLU decried a slew of bills targeting trans youth in state legislatures.

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Extending Attorney-Client Privilege to Prison Email

To ensure that those in prison have equitable and fair access to representation, both the legislature and courts should direct the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to revise this system. Prisoners should be legally entitled to maintain confidentiality in their communications with attorneys.

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This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: February 17, 2020

This week, the White House released its legal justification for the Soleimani strike, pressured the DOJ to lower its own sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, lost a court battle over a Medicaid work requirement, and deployed tactical Border Patrol agents to sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. A new lawsuit challenges roadblocks to insurance coverage for abortion, while criminal justice reform measures in California and New York are implemented and North Dakota tribes achieve a voting rights victory. And, a New York Times reporter asks, “is this the end of privacy as we know it?”

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Rethinking the Use of the Clemency Power

Clemency will certainly not solve mass incarceration, but right now it is a vastly under-utilized tool for chipping away at the injustices the criminal legal system creates and perpetuates. Presidents, and even state governors, who often also have clemency power, should begin exercising this power to curb the legal system’s excesses.

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This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: February 3, 2020

This week, Alabama officials made plans to close one of the state’s most notorious prisons, a Planned Parenthood clinic got the greenlight to become Kentucky’s second abortion provider, and the California senate voted down a bill to address the state’s housing shortage. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has continued to curb immigration, with the Supreme Court’s voting to allow a policy heightening restrictions for poor immigrants, and the announcement of new restrictions for Nigeria and several other countries.

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James Wiseman, the NCAA, and State Action

Ultimately, the NCAA has created a disciplinary apparatus that imposes severe punishment on schools who defy its eligibility recommendations, while simultaneously escaping accountability for those recommendations by making the universities take the final action. This is a perversion of our constitutional system that purports to protect an individual’s ability to hold powerful actors accountable and instead renders athletes powerless. Schools escape accountability by deferring to the NCAA, while the NCAA claims its conduct is private and exempt from the requirements of constitutional rights.

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CR-CL is live blogging the Semi-Final Round of the Ames Moot Court Competition tonight! Check out our updates starting at 6:15 pm EST at

This weekend, we celebrated 55 years of pushing the bounds of legal scholarship. Special thanks to our keynote speaker @vanitaguptaCR, our more than thirty panelists, and our entire CR-CL community. To the next 55!


Thank you so much @daliejimenez and Jonathan Glater for speaking with CR-CL about student debt as a racial justice issue!

Be sure to check out Professors Jimenez's and Glater's upcoming article in CR-CL Volume 55.1!

We're now accepting student writing submissions for Vol. 56.1 on any topic related to civil rights or civil liberties! Get your submission in to by Wed., 3/4/20. For more information, visit

We need to get the #FAIRAct through the Senate—but until that happens, it's up to states to respond to the forced arbitration crisis. Fantastic new @HarvardCRCL post from @BennJennett & @daveyseligman on how states can take action.


Still hoping that courts will revive a general liberty or expression right to student dress freedom as @djuna22 and I advocated in @HarvardCRCL. In the meantime, Equal Protection, Free Exercise, and compelled speech doing a decent job policing the boundaries of gov’t overreach.

galen sherwin@galenleigh

Another thing to be thankful for this week: declaratory judgment finding that the provision of Charter Day School dress code requiring girls to wear skirts violates Equal Protection, & order permanently enjoining the school from establishing or enforcing the provision. Justice!

As someone who used to assist accused students in Title IX proceedings, I think I’m in a good position to say that DeVos’s “due process” regs are unnecessary and dangerous. When they were proposed, I wrote about it for @HarvardCRCL’s blog:…

Alexandra Brodsky@azbrodsky

We are expecting @BetsyDeVosED’s final regulations on Title IX and sexual harassment within the month. Based on the previously published proposed rules, we have good reason to think they will be bad.

CR-CL's annual HLS Ames Final Live-blog is LIVE with blow-by-blow commentary by Nicole Franklin as the student competitors face-off before a panel of judges, including Judge Merrick Garland!

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