Additional Information on the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

* Among the positions that LCCR supports are the following: (a) mandating that employers be subjected to outside investigations of employment complaints, while allowing employers access only to redacted versions of those complaints; (b) interposing in the desire of a city to protect its citizens from the high levels of crime common to housing projects (City of Cuyahoga Falls v. Buckeye Community Hope Foundation; King v. City of Blakely Housing Authority); (c) suing to force communities to build low-income housing, regardless of the realities of the housing market in those communities (e.g., Huntington, NY); (d) pushing for the most radical possible reading of the Americans With Disabilities Act (e.g., Tennessee v. Lane); (e) requiring states to redraw voting districts in such a way as to guarantee minority representation (suits in Virginia, Rhode Island, and Alabama, inter alia); and (f) pushing for the broadest possible reading of “constructive discharge” in sexual harassment cases (Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders).

* In the post-9/11 period, LCCR’s affiliate offices filed briefs against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to limit the wholesale granting of green cards and to identify potential terrorists. The organization also opposed measures that sought to guarantee that all airport security screeners were U.S. citizens. A number of LCCR’s individual members were also members of the Lawyers’ Committee on Human Rights, which consistently criticized the Patriot Act and America’s handling of military prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Other members of LCCR were affiliated with the American Civil Liberties Union (with which LCCR often joined in amicus curiae briefs) and the Center for International Rights.

* In the early to mid-2000s, LCCR’s Housing, Lending, and Community Development Project — which was founded on the premise that “all too often, substandard segregated housing in minority communities exacerbates economic, political and educational disparities” — litigated “fair housing lawsuits … to challenge discrimination in rental and private markets as well as in public and assisted housing.” Meanwhile, LCCR’s Environmental Justice Project — which was established in 1991 to promote “justice for people of color who are fighting to clean up contamination in their community” — complained that “low-income communities and people of color are disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution and the myriad of health problems associated with poor air and water quality and toxic exposure.”

* LCCR was a signatory to a March 17, 2003 letter exhorting members of the U.S. Congress to oppose Patriot Act II, on grounds that it “contain[ed] a multitude of new and sweeping law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers … that would severely dilute, if not undermine, many basic constitutional rights.” In addition, LCCR gave its organizational endorsement to the Community Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties campaign — a project of the California-based Coalition for Civil Liberties, which tried to influence city councils to be non-compliant with the provisions of the Patriot Act.

* Today, LCCR’s Young Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law aims to engage lawyers who are early in their careers to join the Committee’s mission of “Moving America Toward Justice.”

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