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March 26, 2021

Statement from the Officers of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice stands with those demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others in a long history of lethal violence against African Americans dating back more than 400 years. They are grim symptoms of deep and pervasive racism in our nation from which African Americans suffer every day. We stand for justice and true equality for African Americans who have suffered violence, indignity, and oppression for far too long. We stand in solidarity with all those who work to reveal and remedy racism in our criminal, economic, social, cultural, and legal institutions. We will stand up for change that eradicates systemic racism and finally brings true justice and fairness to the legal system and legal profession. 

We stand with demonstrators from coast to coast and all walks of life who demand an end to racial injustice. The appalling killing of African Americans lays bare the dire need for structural and systemic change throughout American society. It is not enough to merely denounce racism; we must all be anti-racist. Many in our national community are suffering. We must listen to and learn from African Americans. 

Our mission is to advance civil rights, human rights, and social justice. As ABA President Judy Perry Martinez stated this week, lawyers “have a special responsibility to address” injustices that exist “through laws that unjustly and disproportionately impact people of color.” We accept that responsibility as a core element of our mission. We commit ourselves anew to work even more tirelessly for these goals, and we call on all members of our Section, and of the legal profession, to make the same commitment. 

This statement represents the views of the officers of CRSJ and is not an official statement of the ABA, which can be found here.