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A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award Dinner

Lawyers' Committee Works to Stop Unjust Evictions of FEMA Trailer Residents Along the Gulf Coast

In response to the efforts of the Pascagoula, Mississippi City Council to use zoning laws to evict residents from their FEMA trailers, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Mississippi Center for Justice have filed suit to preserve this housing for hundreds of FEMA trailer residents. On Friday, May 25, 2017, the Mississippi Center for Justice filed a bill of exceptions in the Circuit Court of Jackson County on behalf of nine residents in three trailer parks, challenging the City Council's zoning decision to terminate residents' rights to live in their trailer parks.

For Press Release, click here

Board Member in the Spotlight

Kim M. Keenan honored on May 16 as Women Lawyer of the Year by the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia during 90th Annual WBA/WBAF Awards Dinner.

For more on Kim Keenan, click here

Aetna and Colgate-Palmolive Honored for their Leadership and Commitment to Diversity

(New York, NY) - On Monday, May 21st, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (“Lawyers' Committee”) will honor Aetna, Inc. and the Colgate-Palmolive Company for their commitment to diversity with the prestigious A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award.

For Press Release, click here

Lawyers’ Committee Trains Parents on Their Rights under the No Child Left Behind Act

Bridgeport, CT—April 28, 2017, the Lawyers’ Committee, in partnership with the NAACP Connecticut State Conference, Connecticut Appleseed, and Connecticut for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), kicked off a series of four workshops throughout the state to train parents to advocate for quality education and increase their involvement in closing achievement gaps in Connecticut schools.

For Parent Empowerment Guidebook, click here
For media announcement, click here

Joe Rich, Project Director Fair Housing and Community Development quoted in New York Times

Go to article.

Two Former Department of Justice Officials Join University of Texas Law Professor To Discuss Politicization of The Department of Justice, March 30, At National Press Club

For Press Release, click here

Lawyers' Committee Urges Supreme Court to Vindicate Employee Rights
Employment Project Files Brief Supporting Employee Who Suffered Race Discrimination

Washington, D.C. – On March 27, 2017, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a brief in the Supreme Court case BCI Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles v. EEOC to vindicate the rights of an African American employee who was discriminatorily terminated. Eight prominent civil rights groups joined the brief, which asserts that employers must be held accountable whenever race motivates the termination of an employee. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case on April 18, 2017.

For Press Release, click here
For Brief, click here

Lawyers' Committee Supports Employees in Landmark Discrimination Case
Employment Project Files Brief Supporting Class of 1.6 Million Wal-Mart Employees

Washington, D.C. – On March 26, 2017, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a brief in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to let stand a previous decision certifying a class of 1.6 million Wal-Mart employees. The plaintiffs allege discrimination in pay, recruitment, and promotions. The brief contends that no employer is so large as to escape justice for discrimination in the workplace. Eight other civil rights groups joined the brief.

For Press Release, click here
For Brief, click here

Lawyers' Committee Supports Clinton and Tubbs Jones’s Reintroduction of Count Every Vote Act
Legislation Addresses Deficiencies in Electoral System

Washington, D.C. - The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law applauds the reintroduction of the Count Every Vote Act of 2017 and commends Senator Hillary Clinton, Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones and all of the bill's co-sponsors for their dedication to ensuring that all eligible Americans have an equal opportunity to exercise the fundamental right to vote.

For Press Release, click here.

Commission on No Child Left Behind Notes Lawyers’ Committee’s Connecticut Lawsuit

In a recently released bi-partisan report titled, Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nation’s Children, the Commission on No Child Left Behind notes the Lawyers’ Committee’s intervention in the case Connecticut v. Spellings. The Aspen Institute, an international non-profit organization, initiated this independent Commission of fifteen education experts to draft recommendations designed to serve as a blueprint for the anticipated 2017 reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act.

To review the Commission’s report, click here.

The Maryland Election Protection Coalition released a report on the problems experienced by Maryland voters during the November 2006 statewide election cycle. The report is based on hundreds of complaints from Maryland voters received by Election Protection, the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection coalition, which operates a national hotline on and before Election Day to guide voters through the voting process. The report was drafted by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, with valued assistance from the NAACP, People for the American Way Foundation, ACLU of Maryland, the Maryland Disability Law Center, the League of Women Voters of Maryland, and the many other members of the Maryland Election Protection Coalition.

To download report, click here.

Lawyers' Committee Applauds Obama and Schumer Bill to Prevent Voter Intimidation and Deceptive Practices

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights announces their support for the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2017, and applauds the efforts of Senators Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer who introduced the bill.

For Press Release, click here.
For NY Times article, click here.

Lawyers' Committee Co-Host Open House to Unveil Environment Friendly Housing in Hurricane Devastated Area
Affordable “Green” Housing Comes to Gulfport, MS

(Gulfport, MS) - On Saturday, January 27, the first environmentally-friendly modular home in the historic African American community of North Gulfport, Mississippi will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. This special ceremony will occur at 8208 Ohio Street and will be followed by a tour of the model home and a block party. The event will showcase one of the most innovative solutions yet proposed to the housing crisis gripping the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

For Press Release, click here.

Report on 2006 Elections

On Monday, December 11, the Lawyers' Committee released its Election Protection report to the Board of Directors and Trustees, Staff, and Pro Bono Partners, discussing Election Protection's legal program and election problems encountered in states across the country.

To download the report, click here.

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Holds Annual Awards Reception to Honor Outstanding Lawyers, Law Firms, and Clients

(New York, NY) - The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (“Lawyers' Committee”) will hold its 2006 Annual Awards Reception to honor the outstanding work and tireless dedication of the lawyers, law firms, and clients who work with the Lawyers' Committee on critical civil rights matters.

For Press Release, click here.

Lawyers' Committee Files an Amicus Brief in Support of School Integration

(Washington DC) The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on December 4, 2006 amidst a crowd of demonstrators outside in support of voluntary school integration with race conscious means. Prior to the oral arguments, the Lawyers' Committee along with other civil rights organizations and law firms submitted an assortment of amici briefs in support of voluntary school integration. The Lawyers' Committee represented the national NAACP to rebut an amicus brief filed by Governor Jeb Bush and the State of Florida on the “proclaimed” success of race neutral educational plans that abandon school integration. In its brief, the Lawyers' Committee uses racially disaggregated data from Florida to show that the “race-neutral” A+ Plan does not increase educational achievement for minority children. In fact, results show that racial gaps in Florida school outcomes have actually increased. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case by the spring of 2017. John Brittain, Chief Counsel and Senior Deputy Director of the Lawyers' Committee notes, “the Seattle and Louisville cases will determine if the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education continues school integration or will represent the final nail in the coffin of this landmark case.”

NAACP Amicus Brief in Support of Respondents
Florida Governor Jeb Bush Amicus Brief in Support of Petitioners

For more information on the Seattle/Jefferson School Integration cases:
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund-
Threatening Brown: Supreme Court Challenges to Voluntary School Integration

St. Bernard Parish Agrees to Halt Discriminatory Zoning Rule
Fair Housing Groups Call “Blood Relative Ordinance” Illegal

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Today, fair housing advocates, joined by a local property owner, announced an agreement with St. Bernard Parish to suspend enforcement of a September ordinance barring single-family homeowners from renting to anyone except blood relatives without the special permission of the Parish Council. The Parish agreed to the order the advocates requested after they filed a motion last week asking the federal district court in New Orleans to block the law.

For Press Release, click here.

Thousands Call Election Protection Voter Hotline
Civil Rights Groups Appeal Maryland Absentee Ballot Deadline

(Washington, DC) - The Election Protection Coalition reported over 20,000 calls on Monday and Tuesday to its voter assistance hotline 1-866-OUR-VOTE. The greatest number of calls to the hotline came from Ohio, Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Maryland.

For Press Release, click here.

Tyson Foods Resolves Alabama Employment Case Agreement Involves Additional Training and Oversight

(Ashland, Alabama) - Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) and a group of current and former workers have reached a settlement in a discrimination lawsuit involving the company's Ashland, Alabama, poultry plant.

For Press Release, click here.

Election Protection Coalition Schedules Media Briefings for Election Day
Data gathered from on-the-ground election monitors and national 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline will be made available to reporters

WASHINGTON-The nonpartisan Election Protection coalition, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, People For the American Way Foundation and the NAACP, plans to hold up to three briefings for reporters on Election Day to update them about potential election problems around the nation.

For Press Release, click here.

Lawyers’ Committee Urges Maryland Board of Elections to Protect the Right to Vote: Election Protection Coalition Concerned with State’s Response to Absentee Ballot Requests

For the letter to the State Board of Elections,
click here.
For the letter to the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review,
click here.
For a copy of the NAACP Press Release,
click here.

Fair Housing Advocates Seek to Halt Discriminatory Zoning Rule
St. Bernard Parish “Blood Relative Ordinance” Called Illegal

St. Bernard Parish, La. – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm Relman and Associates filed a preliminary injunction today to suspend a discriminatory ordinance barring single-family homeowners from renting to anyone except blood relatives without the special permission of the Parish Council. Also filed today was an amended complaint, which along with the preliminary injunction, alleges that the ordinance, both in intent and effect, disproportionately excludes minority families seeking housing and perpetuates the parish’s history as a segregated, predominantly white community. The filings explain that because whites own virtually all single-family homes in the parish (93% according to 2000 census data), the blood relative ordinance effectively limits rentals to whites only despite the disproportionate need by minorities for rental housing. Also harmed are the homeowners who would otherwise be able to rent out their homes.

For Press Release, click here.
For a copy of the Press Release, click here.
For a copy of the Amended Complaint, click here.
For a copy of the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, click here.

Election Protection Launches National Voter Assistance Hotline
Service Offers Live Aid to Voters, Database to Track Problems and Trends, Poll Monitors and Legal Volunteers to be Mobilized in 16 Key States

As the November elections approach, the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition is launching its national 1-866-OUR VOTE voter assistance hotline and the poll location web site 1-866-OUR-VOTE is the only national voter assistance hotline staffed by live call center operators trained to provide state specific assistance to all voters. Lawyers, poll monitors and additional volunteers will be mobilized in 16 key states across the nation to assist voters in the days leading up to the election and on Election Day. Led by People For the American Way Foundation, the NAACP, and the Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, Election Protection (EP) has operated in every election cycle since 2001, and is the nation's most far-reaching nonpartisan effort to provide voter assistance and protect voter rights. The services will include bilingual assistance for areas with a heavy concentration of Spanish-speaking voters.

For press release, click here

NAACP and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Seek to Defend Voting Rights Act
NAACP Files Motion to Intervene in Federal Court

WASHINGTON, DC - In order to defend the voting rights of millions of minority citizens, the NAACP, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, and the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP have requested that a federal court allow the NAACP to intervene in a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

For press release, click here
For a copy of the motion to intervene, click here

National Commission on Environmental Justice on the Gulf Coast Holds Hearings in Gulfport, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana

On October 14, 2006, the National Commission on Environmental Justice on the Gulf Coast convenes it first hearing in Gulfport, Mississippi. The Commission is a panel of prominent academics, local community leaders and civil rights practitioners charged with creating a comprehensive report detailing the history of environmental justice issues unique to the Gulf and in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Too often, politically and economically powerless residents bear the disproportionate burden of environmental hazards.

To read the announcement, click here

Federal Court Halts Arizona's Harmful Voter ID Law
Proposition 200 Will Not Apply to November Elections

WASHINGTON - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order today that will enjoin the State of Arizona from implementing Proposition 200's voter ID requirements in connection with next month's November 7th elections.

For press release, click here

St. Bernard Zoning Ordinances Discriminate, Suit Says
Case Challenges Efforts to Prevent Minorities from Moving to Lily-White New Orleans Suburb

ST. BERNARD PARISH, LA - An ordinance barring single-family homeowners from renting to anyone except blood relatives discriminates against African Americans and Hispanics, according to a lawsuit filed today by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In St. Bernard Parish, an overwhelmingly white area where over 93% of all such homes are owned by whites, this will disproportionately exclude minorities and perpetuate the parish's history of segregation.

For press release, click here
To read the complaint, click here

Your Rights as A Tenant with the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority for Region VIII

You may have heard that some public housing in the Gulf Coast will be sold or closed. To reduce fear, confusion and misinformation, these materials explain what we know about MRHA VIII’s plan and what the decision means for you. On Thursday, August 17, 2006, the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority for Region VIII (MRHA VIII) voted to submit an application to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to “dispose” of public housing units at Charles Warner Homes in Pascagoula and the L.C. Jones Homes and W.M. Ladnier Homes in Gulfport.

Click here to learn about your rights.

Providence NAACP Files EEOC Charge Alleging Cranston, R.I. Fire and Police Departments Discriminate Against Minorities and Women

(Providence, RI) - Today, the NAACP, Providence Branch filed a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the city of Cranston, Rhode Island, for the city's failure to hire minority and female firefighters and police officers.

For press release, click here

Lawyers Committee Disappointed in House Vote in Support of Harmful Voter ID Bill

WASHINGTON - The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is extremely troubled by today's vote of 228-196 in the House of Representatives in support of the so-called Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, HR 4844. Contrary to its title, the bill will undermine the integrity of our election process by imposing unnecessary barriers to full participating in federal elections.

For press release, click here

Click here to see the Lawyers’ Committee’s new movie,
“The New Homeless”

Voting Rights Groups Challenge Voter Intimidation Provision
Suit challenges unfair burden on naturalized citizens when casting vote

August 29, 2006: CLEVELAND – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Brennan Center, and the ACLU Voting Rights Project filed suit in Federal Court for the Northern District of Ohio challenging a section of Ohio House Bill 3.

Click here to read the complaint.

Stories From Katrina Survivors - One Year Later
Free Housing Workshop Held For Those Still in Need of Housing Assistance

(Gulfport, MS) - One year later, the majority of Gulf Coast hurricane survivors are still mired in bureaucratic roadblocks to recovery. The storm's latest victims are public housing residents who face displacement from the apartments that survived Katrina.

For press release, click here

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Names Marsha Simms Co-Chair of its Board of Directors

Marsha E. Simms, a partner in Weil Gotshal’s Banking & Finance practice, was elected Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee). Her term of office will begin in September 2006. Ms. Simms will serve as Co-Chair with Robert E. Harrington, a shareholder of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ms. Simms’ position was previously held by Marjorie Press Lindblom, a partner with the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis.

For press release, click here

Lawyers' Committee sues Tyson Foods, Inc. for a racially  hostile work environment.

The Lawyers’ Committee video advocates for the housing rights of Katrina survivors

Lawyers’ Committee lawyers have made a short documentary, The New Homeless, to bring to the public images of the persistent Katrina housing crisis and to advocate for a rebuilding effort that protects the rights of all segments of society. The video explains the housing challenges faced by low-income and minority Katrina survivors on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and suggests legal and policy solutions to the crisis.

Click here to watch the video.

Federal Court Rules that FEMA is not Above Reach of Law: McWaters v. FEMA

(Washington, DC) - The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights is pleased that U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. issued an opinion on June 16, 2006 that affirms the 5th Amendment Due Process right of hurricane survivors to sue FEMA for its failure to provide temporary housing assistance guaranteed by the Stafford Act and Declaration of Emergency by the President of the United States. In this order, although denying some and upholding other of plaintiffs' claims, Judge Duval expounded on an extensive criticism of FEMA’s inefficiency and lack of action to provide disaster relief to citizens most vulnerable from Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Judge Duval issued a subsequent order on June 30, 2006, granting the plaintiffs class certification. Hence, the McWaters plaintiffs represent all Katrina survivors who applied for assistance or participated in FEMA’s Short-Term Lodging program after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their pre-disaster primary residences in Federal Disaster Areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama; as well as those FEMA erroneously required to complete a SBA loan application to receive emergency assistance. Fortunately, FEMA voluntarily agreed to change many of the complained of practices.

For the press release, click here
For Final Order and Reasons, click here
For Judge Duval’s criticism of FEMA, click here
For Class Certification Order, click here

For more court documents and inormation on McWaters v. FEMA, click here

Lawyers’ Committee Opposes Hyde Voter Suppression Bill

The Lawyers’ Committee is urging the United States House of Representatives to reject H.R. 4844, the so-called “Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006,” introduced by Representative Henry Hyde (IL). Contrary to its title, Representative Hyde’s bill is undemocratic, unfair, and unconstitutional, needlessly requiring proof of citizenship when eligible voters register to vote and photo identification when citizens cast a ballot.

To read the Lawyers’ Committee’s letter to the House Committee on Administration opposing H.R. 4844, click here.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Urges Congress to Enact Comprehensive and Humanitarian Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, DC – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has joined other civil rights organizations in the widespread call for comprehensive and humanitarian immigration reform that addresses the major flaws present in the current immigration system.

For the Press release, click here.


Voting Rights Act

The George N. Lindsay Civil Rights Legal Fellowship

FEMA Transitioning Eligible Evacuees in 403 Apartments
to 408 Rental Assistance

Lawyers Release Guide to Homeowners’ Rights After Katrina
Guide to Preserving Homes from Bulldozing, Taking in New Orleans

Rebuilding Lives: Lawyers’ Committee provides Hurricane Relief in Coastal Mississippi

Click here to watch a short video from the Gulf Coast

New Orleans Property Owner's Rights after Hurricane Katrina

Response to Hurricane Katrina - Barbara R. Arnwine testifies on Capitol Hill

Connecticut Judge Dismissed Three of the State’s Four-Count Lawsuit
Challenging the No Child Left Behind Act

HARTFORD, CT-- The Lawyers Committee is pleased to announce that on September 27, 2006 the US District Court of Connecticut ruled that the State of Connecticut’s lawsuit against Margaret Spellings and NCLB was outside of its jurisdiction. Therefore, the State cannot sue in federal court claiming NCLB is an unfunded mandate. In January 2006, the Lawyers Committee sought to intervene on behalf its clients the NAACP in the State’s lawsuit (CT vs. Spellings), contending it threatens minority and poor schoolchildren.

NAACP Press Release
CT v. Spellings Decision
Hartford Courant article
New York Times article
More information on CT v. Spellings



NY Times, “Storm Victim Sue FEMA for More Aid”; November 10, 2005

Times-Picayune, “Groups Sue FEMA on Storm Response”
; November 11, 2005

McWaters v. FEMA (Civ.Action. No. 05-5488)

First Amended Complaint-Class Action for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, November 18, 2005

Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, November 18, 2005

Second Amended Complaint, November 28, 2005

Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction and in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, December 5, 2006

Order Granting TRO, December 12, 2006

Modified Order, January 12, 2006

Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification, January 31, 2006

Declaration of Lenora Bartley, February 7, 2006

Third Amended Complaint, February 15, 2006
P2.pdf">Part 2 | Part 3

Defendant's Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss, February 16, 2006

Plaintiff Post-Hearing Brief, March 15, 2006

Defendant Post-Hearing Brief, March 15, 2006

Plaintiff Reply to Defendant Post-Hearing Brief, March 31, 2006
Defendant's Response to Plaintiff Post-Hearing Brief, March 31, 2006

>Final Order and Reasoning, June 16, 2006

John Brittain's Summary of Order

>Order Granting Class Certification, June 30, 2006

Final Judgment, August 10, 2006

Disaster Survivors Legal Assistance
Donate Now
Support the Lawyers' Committee's efforts to provide Legal Assistance to Disaster Survivors

FEMA Transitioning Eligible Evacuees in 403 Apartments
to 408 Rental Assistance

Hotel Stay Extended BEYOND February 7th for Hurricane Katrina Survivors Who Call and Receive an Authorization Code. Click here for more information

FEMA Ordered to Extend Evacuee Hotel Stay to Feb 7th. 
Click here to view the December 12, 2005 Court Order.

Washington Post, “Evacuees' Aid Extended”; January 3, 2006

TIPS for Receiving FEMA Aid.  Click here to learn more about how to get your emergency money from FEMA

Groups sue FEMA on storm response; Suit seeks to 'unblock certain hindrances'

Click here for Important Information

Hurricane Survivors - Find Information to Protect Your Rights by Clicking Here

Petition to President Bush, United States Congress, Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and United Nations

“Inaction that diminishes the right to vote equally may be as actionable as direct and overt acts treating the franchise unequally.”

Lawyers' Committee welcomes Judge James Carr’s order denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss in League of Women Voters of Ohio v. Blackwell. The Lawyers' Committee, together with our co-counsel, brought this historic case on behalf of the League to remedy the systemic deficiencies in Ohio’s election administration. Click here to read Judge Carr's decision.

Features Archive

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