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September 01, 2018

2018 Fall CRSJ e-Newsletter


September 2018

Are we outraged? 13 million people dragged from their beds, ripped from their families, stolen from their homes, shackled and starved, taken 8,000 miles across oceans to a foreign land, thrown together sharing little save skin color, enslaved for two and a half centuries, and terrorized and oppressed for 100 years more.

People often ask me, "Since when does everything always have to be about race?"

In America, it’s since 1619, when the first Africans were brought to Virginia, followed by 12.5 million more before 1866.

Read on  ⟶ 

The Section welcomes Wilson Adam Schooley as the 2018-19 Section Chair. Mr. Schooley is also a member of the ABA Journal Board of Editors and House of Delegates, and a civil rights and indigent defense attorney, author, adjunct professor, photographer, and actor.


Do you know an exceptional individual who has dedicated him/herself to the fight for civil and human rights?

The Section is now accepting nominations for the 2019 ABA Thurgood Marshall Award. Nominations are due by close of business on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 and will only be accepted electronically.

Nomination Form & Instructions  ⟶

Virginia Sloan to be honored at Awards Dinner

The Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner is the Southern Center for Human Rights’ flagship gala to recognize and celebrate those who demonstrate exceptional courage and tenacity in the defense of human rights and equal justice. This year, honorees include Virginia "Ginny" Sloan, Founder and former President of The Constitution Project and CRSJ Section Division Director and Council member, and Jason Flom, CEO of Lava Records and Lava Music Publishing. Learn more and purchase tickets at

Reserve your seat  ⟶

Section-Sponsored Amicus Brief

Tyson Timbs and A 2012 Land Rover LR2 v. State of Indiana

Earlier this month, the Section submitted an amicus brief in Timbs v. Indiana, which deals with the issue of excessive fines, the topic of the Working Group on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System. The Chair of the Working Group, Immediate Past Section Chair Robert N. Weiner, was also the main drafter of the brief.

Read the brief  ⟶

Chair's Initiative: New Section Entity

This year, as part of a new and timely initiative, Section Chair Wilson Schooley is spearheading a new Section working group, that will exist in addition to the Section’s twenty substantive Committees. The new entity, whose members are currently weighing the name, will tackle issues such as the institutional and non-institutional barriers to African American equality and will partner with like-minded groups outside of the ABA to accomplish its developing goals. The Section will devote two issues of the Human Rights Magazine to cover these issues, with articles and sidebars written by Initiative members.

Stay tuned for more information, which will be shared widely with Section members.


Wednesday, October 10 - Sunday, October 14, 2018

Birmingham, Mongomery, & Selma, Alabama

During the 2018-19 ABA year, Section Chair Wilson Schooley's primary focus is on the overwhelming cumulative, enduring, daily effects of centuries of generational racism, oppression, terrorism and trauma on Black America, and on how richly we’ve profited - intellectually, financially, culturally, artistically, scientifically - from the people oppressed. As a Section forged in the Civil Rights movement, Mr. Schooley feels we should be in the thick of a conversation about this shameful side of the American Dream, part of creating a counter-narrative to the collective American silence on the history and continuing effects of slavery, racism, and domestic terror, and on the extraordinary contributions of African Americans to enriching our nation.

To kick off this initiative, on October 10-14, Section Council and leadership will travel to the civil rights triangle: Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama, where we will hold the 2018 CRSJ Fall Council Meeting, discuss the upcoming ABA year, and chart the future of the Civil Rights and Social Justice Section.

Noteworthy Tours

Section leadership will visit many historic sites and museums during the meeting, including:



Advocating for Justice: The Obligation of Lawyers to Prevent Police Brutality

Melanie Bates is a newly elected Council Member of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and an attorney based in Washington, D.C.

"Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process." This profound quote by Thurgood Marshall succinctly illustrates the source of my passion to fight for justice. As lawyers, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that every person, regardless of socioeconomic status, has access to quality legal representation. Poverty, lack of education, and other social issues should not feed the pipeline to prison or to the grave. Through consistent advocacy, lawyers should strive to alleviate the factors that force many people to become a part of the system.

Read on  ⟶ 

Members in the News

Trump is wrong. There is nothing surprising about Christine Blasey Ford's accusations.

Our Duty: Create the Peace and Justice Whose Absence Is So Devastatingly Portrayed in the New National Memorial
RONALD TABAK | August 2018

PROFILE: Growing Up Amid Injustices
WALTER H. WHITE, JR. | June 2015


Term in Review

Although uncertainty surrounds Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States, the upcoming 2018-2019 Term is set to begin with a full docket beginning on October 1st. This term covers a range of issues from employment discrimination to capital punishment, with a particular emphasis on criminal law and criminal justice. Here’s a look at the Highlights of the 2018-2019 Term.


Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido: Age Discrimination (To be Heard 10/1/18)
Gundy v. U.S.: Criminal Procedure (To be Heard 10/2/18)
Madison v. Alabama: Eighth Amendment, Capital Punishment (To be Heard 10/2/18)
Bucklew v. Precythe: Sentencing, Capital Punishment (To be Heard 11/6/18)
Timbs v. Indiana: Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment (Date To Be Determined)

Full update on the 2019 Fall Term of the Supreme Court of the United States  ⟶