Section Events Well Received in Honolulu
During the 2006 ABA Annual Meeting in Honolulu, the Section elected officers for the 2006-07 ABA year, held four successful CLE programs, and presented two reports with recommendations to the House of Delegates. The highlight of the Section’s activities was the Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner, where civil rights attorney Julius Chambers was presented with the 2006 Thurgood Marshall Award.
Section members unanimously approved the slate of candidates for 2006-07 at the Section’s Annual Meeting, which included the addition of Lourdes Rivera, former chair of the Health Rights and Bioethics Committee, to the Council. During a special awards luncheon, the Native American Concerns Committee was presented with the Committee Excellence Award ( see related article), and the law firm of Holland and Knight was awarded the Section’s Pro Bono Award ( see related article).
The Section was honored to receive awards of recognition from the Hawaii State Senate and the Hawaii House of Representatives for its work on Native Hawaiian issues. Immediate Past ABA President Michael S. Greco visited the Council meeting to congratulate the Section and its Native American Concerns Committee on its work. President Greco also was awarded a certificate of recognition from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for providing leadership to the ABA on Native Hawaiian Issues.
The Section’s CLE programs were well received and covered a variety of issues. In addition to a Presidential CLE Program on the legal status of Native Hawaiians, the Section also presented programs on the separation of church and state, and the civil rights implications of Hurricane Katrina.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) provided a fiery keynote address for the Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner. In his impassioned speech, he reminded guests of the importance of protecting civil rights and implored them to take action to ensure that these rights are not violated by the federal government. Julius L. Chambers, a civil rights lawyer and former head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, received the 2006 Thurgood Marshall award in recognition of his leadership as a civil rights litigator and activist.
The House of Delegates passed both resolutions presented by the Section. The first resolution urged federal, state, local, and territorial governments to enact legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived gender identity or expression, in employment, housing and public accommodations. The second, while not taking a position supporting or opposing the death penalty, urges each jurisdiction that imposes capital punishment to implement policies and procedures as they relate to the mentally ill.
For CLE program materials, copies of the reports with recommendations, or a biographical sketch of Julius Chambers, please visit the Section website.