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June 26, 2024 CHAIR COLUMN

June CRSJ Chair's Column

Dear ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section Family,

Happy Summer Solstice!  In the northern hemisphere this is one of my favorite times of the year because we have such long days of sun. 

June also marks the end of the U.S. Supreme Court term and the announcements of opinions that the Court is handing down each term and, as always, we have had a number of decisions announced that are of concern and focus of the Section including FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs lacked Article III standing to challenge the FDA’s actions regarding the regulation of mifepristone and U.S. v. Rahimi which upheld the federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by persons subject to a domestic violence restraining order.  We continue to await the Court’s opinions as they are issued and plan programming to highlight key civil rights and social justice issues they raise. 

Continuing our collaboration, on June 24, 2024, we co-sponsored an important Continuing Legal Education program with the ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Rape as a War Crime: The Need to Respond to an Urgent Global Atrocity.  This timely discussion featured Melanie O’Brien, Visiting Professor, Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, Institute for Global Studies University of Minnesota, Nicole Phillips, Legal Director, Haitian Bridge Alliance, and Miriam Schler, Executive Director, The Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center. 

We held a wonderful spring meeting in Detroit in with our partners at the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty in conjunction with the ABA Equal Justice Conference in May at which a number of the membership and leadership of the Section spoke and participated.  We are looking forward to seeing many of you in Chicago for the ABA Annual Meeting in August 2024 and in particular at our Annual Thurgood Marshall Award dinner where we will honor Eva Paterson for her decades of commitment to civil rights and social justice. Please purchase a ticket if you haven’t already - they available for purchase for $200 through Annual Meeting Registration or by completing this request form (for those not attending the Annual Meeting).

Finally, I want to highlight our Perfecting Democracy Project which connects attorneys with opportunities to increase access to the right to vote. We encourage you to learn more about the Project and to sign up for an opportunity.  Voting rights are critical year around including this coming November.

Thank you and see you in Chicago in August. Please stay safe and cool in the interim.

Robin R. Runge

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, 2023-24 Chair

Robin R. Runge is the 2023-24 Chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Currently, she is a Consultant and Distinguished Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University School of Law.