chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
May 04, 2022 CHAIR COLUMN

May CRSJ Chair's Column

Happy Month of May! I’m grateful that our policy advocacy has been effective with respect to nursing home reform. Recently, the ABA passed two resolutions on nursing home reform, the latest just this past February. The Biden administration recently announced a series of nursing home reforms very closely aligned with ABA policy. President Biden also recently signed into law the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which closely mirrors the resolution passed at last year’s Annual Meeting and which makes lynching a federal hate crime. We should celebrate these events as further evidence that our work brings positive results. Thank you all for everything you do each and every day to make a difference. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. We need to keep the faith that justice prevails and continue to work toward a more perfect union.

As the war continues in Ukraine, I invite you all to view our rapid response webinar, which highlights steps lawyers can take during this conflict. We stand with those fighting for their freedom and working to uphold the rule of law. May righteousness prevail!

The leaked SCOTUS draft opinion on abortion rights stands contrary to ABA policy and 49 years of precedent. As written, it will also have far sweeping ramifications on the bodily autonomy of all birthing people as well as broader privacy rights showing that our work is far from done. Please view ABA President Reggie Turner’s statement about the draft opinion here. This draft opinion shows our continued need for advocacy both at the state and national levels. If you have not already done so, please join our Policy Implementation Initiative and help us continue to promote ABA policy.

I am grateful we were able to host a 21-Day Practice on Creating Inclusive Spaces and Combatting Islamophobia in April. This well-received program ran during Ramadan and had more participation than in any previous 21-day Practices or Challenges.

I thank everyone who attended our Spring meeting, both part one, the virtual session, and part two in person in San Pedro, CA. It was a fun and productive meeting! We thank the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and the Senior Lawyers Division for partnering with us for the in-person portion of our meeting. Our work is most effective when we work collaboratively. Our member’s participation, as well as outreach to other entities, makes this success possible. I look forward to the fruition of all the good work we set in motion during our Spring Meeting.

Beth K. Whittenbury
Chair, Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Beth K. Whittenbury is the 2021-22 Chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and past leader of the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk. Currently, she is the Principal at Beth K. Whittenbury & Associates.