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  Civil Rights Litigation


Roe Revitalized: The Supreme Court Sharpens "Undue Burden" Analysis

By Brandon Robb

Casey's "undue burden" standard has been enhanced, clarified, and given new energy, and the right to choose has been reaffirmed for the foreseeable future.

OFCCP Issues First Updates to Sex Discrimination Guidelines Since 1970

By David Gevertz

The updates address compensation discrimination, harassment, accommodations for pregnant workers, gender-identity bias, and family caregiving responsibilities, and more.

Making the Case to End Solitary Confinement for Juveniles

By Nicole Scialabba

Juveniles in solitary confinement are more likely to develop mental health problems.

Transgender Rights Litigation Moves Through Fourth Circuit

By Nancy C. Marcus

The issue has found footing in the Fourth Circuit, particularly in the context of the right of transgender individuals to use the facilities that correspond with their gender identities.

Supreme Court Clarifies a "Legal Twilight Zone" in Excessive Force Claims

By Sarah E. Ricks

The Court adopts objective reasonableness as the Fourteenth Amendment standard.

Are Courts Viewing Pretextual Searches and "Good-Faith" Exceptions More Skeptically?

By Daniel Schoen

Recent cases give reason for hope.

Supreme Court Sidesteps First Amendment, Voids Criminal Conviction

By Farrah Champagne

Violent posts on Facebook: What constitutes a true threat and guilty mind?

Reed v. Town of Gilbert: Upholding the Free Speech Ideals of the First Amendment

By Anannya Tripathy

A Supreme Court decision on sign regulations extends to panhandling controls.

DOL Shifts Employee Burden in OSHA Whistleblower Cases

By Nikki McArthur

Given this stalemate at the Department of Labor, employers and employees alike are left with uncertainty until the issue is settled in the courts of appeals.

Understanding the Equal Liberty and Intimate Association Doctrinal Underpinnings of Obergefell v. Hodges

By Nancy C. Marcus

Between Obergefell's equal liberty and intimate association doctrinal underpinnings, the case is powerful in its potential precedential force, unlocking future avenues of constitutional argument.

Overworked and Underfunded: A Fair Trial Issue for Indigent Defendants

By Lori Mullins

To uphold the Sixth Amendment's right to a fair trial, public defenders need more resources.

Supreme Court to Revisit Affirmative Action in College Admissions

By O. Andrew F. Wilson

The coming decision promises a material development in the law on race and admissions under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Social Media Developments: Employers' Access and Discovery

By David E. Gevertz

Two trends have begun to emerge that may offer employers some guidance, if not complete certainty, as to when access to an employee's account is appropriate.

Does the Second Amendment Protect Unauthorized Aliens?

By John Pierce

The Seventh Circuit makes a compelling argument in U.S. v. Meza-Rodriguez.

Challenging the No-Fly List: The Status of the Litigation after Five Years

By Cassandra Burke Robertson and Irina D. Manta

Plaintiffs continue to challenge the revised travel procedure on both substantive and procedural due process grounds.

Karsjens v. Jesson: Challenging the Un-Civil Commitment of Civil Rights

By Eric S. Janus and Jon Brandt

The key constitutional question is whether SOCC laws are legitimate civil commitment or merely punishment masquerading as civil commitment.

Population Predominance in Racial Gerrymandering

By O. Andrew F. Wilson

Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama provides the high court's latest statement on racial gerrymandering and offers new insight into the role of equal-population objectives in redistricting analysis.

The Young Lawyer's Guide to Indigent Defense

By Cleveland M. Patterson III

A few pointers for young attorneys on how to represent indigent defendants where there is no local public defender's office.

Your License Plate, Your Speech?

By Genelle I. Belmas

The back of your car says a lot more than it might seem.

"Remove That Rag!" and Other Humiliations of Religious Minorities in the Courthouse

By Gurjot Kaur

The First Amendment rights of an individual do not evaporate at the courthouse door.

Due Process Rights in Charter Schools

By Kevin C. Moyer

Recently released guidance can enable charter schools whose disciplinary practices violate students' due process rights to comply with federal law.

Civil Rights Implications Arising from Crime of "Indigence"

By David Schoen

Members of the bar must recognize the unjust nature of laws that criminalize or punish with increased severity based on one's indigent status and to take action where we find such laws.

Qualified Immunity in Excessive-Force Cases Post-Plumhoff

By Ashley J. Heilprin

As more cases are litigated, courts should be better able to flesh out the factors that may determine whether the conduct violates a person's constitutional and statutory rights.

Is a Judge Immune for Non-Judicial Acts? Two Federal Courts Answer Differently

By Sarah E. Ricks

The Middle District of Pennylvania and the Sixth Circuit see things differently when it comes to immunity from 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims for damages.

Recent Cases Limit Government's Ability to Search Phones, Computers

By Aaron M. Danzig

A modern interpretation of the Fourth Amendment?

Challenges to Same-Sex Marriage Bans Succeeding

By Mark T. Hamby

An overview of recent decisions finding same-sex marriages and equality bans unconstitutional.

Shelby County v. Holder: The Mirror Image of Plessy v. Ferguson

By Danyahel Norris

The Supreme Court's decision undermined key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

Searching Cell Phones Incident to Arrest: There's an App for That—A Warrant!

By Mickey H. Osterreicher

Two recent cases prove the viability of the Fourth Amendment in the digital age.

Hacking, Wiretapping, and Other Misdeeds as "Protected Activity"

By Kevin J. O'Connor

Decisions to discipline or fire employees engaged in such activity should be made only with the assistance of qualified legal counsel.

The Courts Examine the Right to Bear Arms Beyond the Home

By Miko Tempski

The issue will remain a hotly debated and litigated question.

Cleared for Takeoff: Disability Rights under the Air Carrier Access Act

By Mária Zulick Nucci

People with disabilities have specific rights and recourse, and the ACAA is their copilot.

College Sports and Social Media: Leave Your Rights in the Locker Room?

By Frank LoMonte

Colleges do not need limitless control over their athletes' social-media lives.

Good Stop/Bad Stop (and Frisk)

By O. Andrew F. Wilson

Moving past arguments that artificially pit pragmatism against idealism.

Are English-Only Policies in the Workplace Discriminatory of National Origin?

By David E. Gevertz and Ana C. Dowell

The EEOC has taken the position that such policies have the tendency to discriminate on the basis of national origin, violating Title VII.

Supreme Court to Revisit Qualified Immunity and Pleading Standards

By Simona Grossi and Allan Ides

The Supreme Court should adopt an approach to inferences that recognizes the primary role of district courts in deciding which inferences may be sufficient to support a claim.

Lawsuit Demands an End to Assembly-Line Justice in South Georgia

By Atteeyah Hollie

A recent suit reminds us that the constitutional guarantee of effective legal representation remains illusory for many who cannot afford a lawyer.

Coordinated Suits Signal Change in Human-Trafficking Litigation

By Morgen Morrissette

An unprecedented cooperative effort to address the problem of corporate-sponsored human trafficking that often evades prosecution.

The Rights of Children of Same-Sex Couples: In Their Own Words

By Monique R. Sherman

An amicus curiae brief gives the children a powerful and persuasive voice in the Supreme Court.

The Murky Landscape of Post-Iqbal Supervisory Liability in the 7th Circuit

By Sarah E. Ricks

Is it statutory or constitutional? Is intent required?

And You Call Yourself a Journalist!?

By Jonathan Peters

A recent Fourth Circuit decision intensified the debate surrounding the new federal shield bill.

There and Back Again in Indian Country (Almost)

By Joseph J. Wiseman

Congress reauthorizes VAWA, granting tribal courts renewed criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic abuse in Indian Country.

Fighting "Today's Pirates": Kiobel and the Future of ATS Claims

By Morgen Morissette

The Supreme Court's decision represents a serious missed opportunity to settle the question of whether corporations can be subject to liability under the Alien Tort Statute.

Section 1981 Litigation: Making Free Markets Free

By Carmen D. Caruso

42 U.S.C. § 1981, as amended, is a powerful statute that has historically been underused as a remedy for racial discrimination in contracting.

Article III's Injury Requirement and 2013's Most Anticipated Cases

By Danielle Y. Conley, Robert N. Haferd, and Tiffany R. Wright

Three cases with shaky foundations will go before the Supreme Court this year.

Social Services and Constitutional Rights, a Balancing Act

By Benjamin R. Picker and Jonathan C. Dunsmoor

Social-service workers must weigh their duty to protect children against their legal obligation not to commit civil-rights violations.

Windsor May Have Paved the Way for Intermediate Scrutiny of DOMA

By Caitlin Sandley and Stanford Moore

The U.S. Supreme Court seems ready to make a historic ruling.

Turning the Tables on Turnout

By Suhas Subramanyam

How Democrats neutralized and utilized restrictive voting laws in the 2012 election.

Eleventh Circuit Should Define Constitutional Use of Tasers

By Sarah E. Ricks

Police and the public need guidance on how Tasers can be used consistently with the Constitution.

Book Review: Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights, and Policy

By Bobbie K. Ross

We review the very first law-school textbook covering the Second Amendment.

Q&A with Lambda Legal's Deputy Legal Director

By Hayley Gorenberg

One of the stewards behind the civil rights group for the LGBT community and those with HIV discusses what drives her advocacy work.

Supreme Court Incorporates Second Amendment Against the States

By Benjamin P. Saul

The U.S. Supreme Court decided McDonald, et al. v. City of Chicago, Illinois, et al on writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.