Policy Implementation

This list identifies resolutions adopted by the House of Delegates at its August 2020 Annual Meeting.

For prior meetings, see the ABA House of Delegates website.

Report No. 10A

Urges the United States to take all necessary and proper actions within its power to end the ongoing armed conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 10B

Supports an interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment which would guarantee that all Americans residing in all United States territories who are otherwise eligible to receive federal benefits under the SSI program are entitled to receive them.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:

David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 10C

Reaffirms prior ABA policy supporting an amendment to the United States Constitution to provide for participation of citizens in American territories to vote in national elections.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 10D

Urges federal, state, territorial and tribal governments, bar associations, and/or Commercial Lenders to develop and implement programs to assist law students, recent graduates, and young lawyers experiencing financial hardship due to postponed bar exams and/or deferred employment or unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1789
kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 10E

Urges support for pending U.S. legislation to address violations of governing instruments for Hong Kong and Rule of Law.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 10F

Urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s temporary exemption for continuing, incoming, and future nonimmigrant student visa holders taking any combination of in-person, hybrid, and online classes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 10G

Urges that the highest court or bar admissions authority in each jurisdiction cancel the in-person bar examinations currently scheduled for September 9-10, 2020, and September 30-October 1, 2020, and not administer any other in-person bar examination until and unless public health authorities determine that the examination can be administered in a manner that ensures the health and safety of bar applicants, proctors, and other staff.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1789
kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 10H

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to address the COVID-19 eviction and housing crisis and its collateral harm by (1) providing rental assistance to rental property owners where tenants are facing COVID-19 economic hardship, and (2) precluding in tenant screening practices the use of nonpayment of rent or eviction records that occur during a particular jurisdiction’s COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency or in the 90 days immediately following the lifting of such emergency.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 101

Urges federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments to enact legislation that imposes civil and criminal sanctions for lynching others on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or the presence or appearance of mental or physical disability and imposes criminal and civil sanctions.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:

Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 100A

Urges all employers in the legal profession to implement, maintain, and encourage the use of paid family leave policies for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Denny Cardman
Deputy Director
(202) 662-1761
denise.cardman@americanbar.org

Report No. 100B

Supports the interpretation that “race,” as included in antidiscrimination statutes, be not limited to the color of one’s skin, but rather, includes other physical and cultural characteristics associated with race; urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to enact legislation banning race discrimination on the basis of the texture, style, or appearance of a person’s hair; encourages all federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local court systems, in conjunction with state, territorial, tribal and local bar associations, to carefully review their discrimination policies and provide implicit bias training to eradicate discrimination on the basis of the texture, style, or appearance of a person’s hair; and supports enactment of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act of 2019 (S. 3167, H.R. 5309, 116th Congress) or similar legislation that advances antidiscrimination on the basis of the texture, style, or appearance of a person’s hair.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Denny Cardman
Deputy Director
(202) 662-1761
denise.cardman@americanbar.org

Thomas Susman
Strategic Advisor
thomas.susman@americanbar.org
(202) 662-1765

Report No. 101

Adopts the American Bar Association Election Administration Guidelines and Commentary, dated August 2020, supplanting all earlier versions; recommends that all election officials ensure the integrity of the election process through the adoption, use, and enforcement of the Guidelines; and urges that federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments provide state, local, territorial, and tribal election authorities with adequate funding to implement the Guidelines and Commentary.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 102A

Urges federal, state, territorial and tribal governments to enact and enforce legislation that prohibits and penalizes the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins; urges that all nations enact laws that prohibit and penalize the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins; and encourages all international, regional, national, and state bar associations, and international organizations, to promote policies and laws that prohibit and penalize the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 102B

Urges all nations, including the United States, to become a party to and implement the 2019 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 102C

Urges the United States, other nations, and the United Nations to facilitate and promote neutral and inclusive dialogues between the government of Cameroon and separatist leaders; urges adequate funding by the United States and other nations for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Humanitarian Response Plan; urges the United States, other nations, and the United Nations to urge the government of Cameroon and separatist groups, as applicable, to comply with their obligations under international human rights and international humanitarian law; urges the Commonwealth of Nations, the International Organization of La Francophonie, and the African Union to substantially support the above efforts and promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict; and urges the President of the United States to continue to withhold beneficiary country status under the U.S. Trade and Development Act of 2000 until the Cameroon government demonstrates measurable progress in establishing the rule of law, including by providing fair trials for prisoners detained in connection with protests against the government.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 103

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to adopt and enforce legislation and educational policy that 1) prohibits school personnel from using seclusion, mechanical, and chemical restraints on preschool elementary and secondary students, 2) prohibits school personnel from using physical restraint unless the student’s behavior poses an imminent danger of serious physical injury to self or others, 3) prohibits the use of restraints in a face-down position or any other position that is likely to impair a student’s ability to breathe, in situations where physical restraint is used, and 4) requires professional development and ongoing training in positive behavior interventions and trauma-informed care.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 105

Urges Congress to create and fund a Guardianship Court Improvement Program for adult guardianship (following the model of the State Court Improvement Program for child welfare agencies created in 1993) to support state court efforts to improve the legal process in the adult guardianship system, improve outcomes for adults subject to or potentially subject to guardianship, increase the use of less restrictive options than guardianship, and enhance collaboration among courts, the legal system, and the aging and disability networks.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 106A

Urges criminal justice stakeholders to consider using a restorative justice response to crime as one effective alternative, or adjunct to, a criminal adjudicatory process, in appropriate cases; urges federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments to develop grant and funding streams to enable criminal justice stakeholders and community partner organizations to develop, maintain, and assess the effectiveness of restorative justice programs in a data-driven manner; and urges the National Institute of Justice to prioritize and make publicly available an evaluation of restorative justice practices nationwide.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1789
kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 108A

Urges Congress to enact legislation authorizing one or more principal officers, who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, to review decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) determining the patentability of any claim reviewed by the PTAB before such decisions become final decisions of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and that the legislation should also restore Title 5 removal protections for Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) of the PTAB.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Thomas Susman
Strategic Advisor
Thomas.susman@americanbar.org
202-662-1765

Report No. 108B

Supports, in principle, a transparent administrative process or processes to remove trademark registrations from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Principal or Supplemental Register.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Thomas Susman
Strategic Advisor
Thomas.susman@americanbar.org
202-662-1765

Report No. 110

Urges Congress and the Administration to require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to remove regulatory barriers to full accreditation of Tribal Veterans Service Officers (TVSOs); provide sufficient federal funding for establishing and operating TVSOs where a tribal community is economically disadvantaged; and urges that when the Department of Veterans Affairs promulgates rules and regulations governing agent accreditation or the administration of programs, benefits, treatment, and services for veterans on Tribal land, the proposals be culturally competent, acknowledge the status of federally-recognized tribes as domestic dependent sovereigns, and be consistent with prevailing laws of sovereignty.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 111B

 Urges all federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial governments to adopt policies and contractual provisions that: 1) prohibit conducting strip searches of children and youth, except in exceptional circumstances, 2) require that, if the child or youth must be strip-searched, the search is conducted in a manner that respects the sexual orientation and gender identity of the child or youth and is the least intrusive manner possible, 3) prohibit body cavity searches of children and youth; and encourages court systems, lawyers, law schools, and bar associations to promote awareness of the harmful effects of strip searches and body cavity searches of children and youth, including trauma and re-victimization.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 113A

Urges Congress to re-authorize and fully fund the Violence Against Women Act and similar legislation: 1) Preserves the protections approved in the 2013 reauthorization of VAWA, and continues to respond to emerging challenges and to the concerns from the field of expert professionals, 2) Improves services, minimizes bias, and prioritizes safety, autonomy, and support for all victims of gender-based violence, with a particular emphasis on the self-defined needs of marginalized and underserved groups, 3) Enhances judicial, legal, and law enforcement tools that respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in a trauma-informed way, 4) Strengthens the healthcare system’s comprehensive and trauma-informed response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, 5) Provides economic and housing opportunities and protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including non-discrimination protections, and 6) Implements evidence-based prevention and educational programs that encourage healthy relationships and teach how to respond to attitudes and behaviors contributing to sexual and domestic violence.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 113B

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to enact legislation and policies to require all health care providers to obtain specific informed patient consent in advance for all pelvic examinations.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 113C

Adopts the eight principles and accompanying commentary set forth in the U.S. Department of Justice December 15, 2015 guidance titled Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence; and urges all federal, state, territorial, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States to: (1) adopt those same principles; (2) provide periodic training to all law enforcement agency personnel to promote compliance with those principles; and (3) engage in regular review of compliance efforts and make any necessary adjustments to improve compliance.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 114

Urges all national governments to observe, respect, and protect the independence of the International Criminal Court; and condemns threats by governments to the International Criminal Court and its officers and personnel in the performance of their duties.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 115

Recognizes that effective reforms of legal systems that affect the fundamental rights of children and youth cannot be accomplished without active participation by individuals who experienced those systems as children and youth; encourages attorneys, judges, advocates, legislators, bar associations, and law schools to promote effective, ongoing, and authentic engagement in legal system reform and advocacy efforts by individuals who have experienced those systems as children and youth and to remove barriers to that engagement; urges law schools, bar associations, law firms, and other professional organizations to create pathways for individuals with lived experience in legal systems that affect children and youth to pursue and succeed in legal and advocacy careers, both within youth-serving systems and more broadly in the legal profession; and calls on organizations focused on improving legal systems that affect children and youth to incorporate individuals who experienced those systems as children into leadership positions.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 116A

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to enact legislation that requires: 1) law enforcement agencies to keep records of instances in which lethal force is used, 2) the appointment of a fully independent special prosecutor whenever a person’s death occurs in the custody of or during an encounter with a police officer or other law enforcement officer, and 3) a showing of objective reasonable necessity to establish a defense in criminal cases involving lethal force use by a police or other law enforcement officer.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 116B

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to: 1) adopt and enforce fair lending laws and other federal, state and local laws targeting unfair or deceptive acts or practices, 2) adopt laws and policies that promote the adoption of an enhanced non-discrimination compliance system for a vehicle loan, 3) adopt legislation requiring the timely notice and disclosure of pricing of add-on products by dealers on each vehicle through reasonable means; urges Congress to amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require documentation and collection of the applicant’s race, gender or national origin for non-mortgage credit transactions, specifically for vehicle transactions; and encourages state, local, territorial and tribal bar associations to offer educational programming and materials to lawyers and consumers to help them understand and navigate purchases and financing of vehicles.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Thomas Susman
Strategic Advisor
Thomas.susman@americanbar.org
202-662-1765

Report No. 116C

Opposes federal, state, local, territorial and tribal legislation, regulation, and agency policy that discriminates against transgender and non-binary people on the basis of gender identity and/or that imposes barriers to obtaining or providing medically necessary care to affirm an individual’s gender identity.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Thomas Susman
Strategic Advisor
Thomas.susman@americanbar.org
202-662-1765

Report No. 116D

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal legislatures to enact legislation, and correctional and detention facilities for both adults and minors to enact policies requiring that all incarcerated persons are provided with: 1) soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and facial tissues in sufficient quantities to prevent the transmission of infectious disease; 2) personal protective equipment including personal sanitizing products and face masks that are effective in preventing existing and emerging infections in sufficient quantities to prevent the transmission of infectious disease; and 3) sufficient facilities for hand washing, including unrestricted access to clean water and working sinks.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 116E

Urges federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments to: 1) enact and enforce legislation directing law enforcement officials and election officials to establish a protocol where pretrial detainees, who are eligible to register to vote or vote in the jurisdiction in which they are detained are given the opportunity to register to vote and cast ballots in their respective federal, state, and local elections; and 2) promulgate and enforce regulations that facilitate the participation of such pretrial detainees in all federal, state, local, and special elections, including the ability to register to vote, obtain a ballot, and have that ballot delivered to the appropriate elections office.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 116G

Urges that, in all states, territories and tribes, the highest courts or legislative bodies charged with the administration of justice, admission to the bar, or regulation of the legal profession, require that lawyers, judges, commissioners, referees, probation officers, and court personnel whose job requires interacting with the public receive periodic training regarding implicit biases that addresses, at minimum: sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity; and urges that, in all states, territories, and tribes, the highest courts or legislative bodies, or agencies and boards that license and regulate the medical profession or social service professions, require that medical professionals and social service professionals who work with the public receive periodic training regarding the implicit biases previously noted.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Denny Cardman
Deputy Director
(202) 662-1761
denise.cardman@americanbar.org

Report No. 116H

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to: 1) repeal laws that disenfranchise persons based upon criminal conviction, 2) restore voting rights to those currently and formerly incarcerated, including those on probation, parole, or any other community-based correctional program, 3) assure that no person convicted of crime is disenfranchised because of nonpayment of a fine, court costs, restitution or other financial obligations imposed as a result of a criminal conviction; and amends the Criminal Justice Standards on Collateral Sanctions and Discretionary Disqualification of Convicted Persons (3d Edition, 2004).

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

Report No. 117

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to: 1) use a considered and measured approach in adopting and utilizing virtual or remote court proceedings established as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) form appropriate committees to establish or review the use of virtual or remote court proceedings and make recommendations for procedures, revisions of procedures and best practices; 3) ensure that virtual or remote court proceedings guarantee equal access and meet standards of fundamental fairness and due process; 4) provide advance notice of proceedings and ensure full and meaningful public access to virtual proceedings, while also protecting the privacy of those proceedings legally exempted from public access; 5) reintroduce in-person court options as soon as safely feasible as determined by public health officials, and 6) study the impacts of virtual or remote court procedures and take steps to halt, alter, or revise virtual or remote court procedures if such study suggests prejudicial effect or disparate impact on case outcomes.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Denny Cardman
Deputy Director
(202) 662-1761
denise.cardman@americanbar.org

Report No. 300A

Recommends that Congress, state and local governments, election officials, and private sector entities to address the spread of disinformation that interferes with voting and other core electoral processes and to protect democratic institutions in the U.S.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 300B

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments and private sector entities to promote digital literacy, civic education, and public awareness to build societal resilience to domestic and foreign malign disinformation operations.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Kristi Gaines
Senior Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1763
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org

David Eppstein
Legislative Counsel
(202) 662-1766
david.eppstein@americanbar.org

Report No. 301A

Urges federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to enact legislation to curtail the defense of qualified immunity in civil actions brought against law enforcement officers.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org

Report No. 301B

Urges governments to declare June 19 (Juneteenth) as a paid legal holiday.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Denny Cardman
Deputy Director
Denise.Cardman@americanbar.org
202-662-1761

Report No. 301C

Urges the federal government to desist from the use of force by federal agents to suppress lawful First Amendment activity, opposes the targeted use of force against journalists, legal observers, and others, denounces the deployment of unidentified federal officers or officers using unmarked vehicles to suppress lawful First Amendment activity and to remove individuals from city streets, and calls upon the United States Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to cease and publicly renounce such tactics, and to investigate their use.

Full text and report

For more information, please contact:
Ken Goldsmith
Legislative Counsel
202-662-1789
Kenneth.goldsmith@americanbar.org