March 2018 Newsletter

  Welcome to the Public Rights Project Newsletter!  Each month, we’ll keep you up to date with our efforts to empower states and cities to protect the rights and freedoms that define us as Americans.  We’ll also share a few articles you may have missed that highlight the importance of state and local government, and how states and cities are picking up the torch to protect our rights.

Welcome to the Public Rights Project Newsletter!  Each month, we’ll keep you up to date with our efforts to empower states and cities to protect the rights and freedoms that define us as Americans.  We’ll also share a few articles you may have missed that highlight the importance of state and local government, and how states and cities are picking up the torch to protect our rights.


UPDATES FROM PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT


INAUGURAL PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT FELLOWSHIP LAUNCH

On March 15, the application for the inaugural class of Public Rights Project Fellows officially went live! Thank you to all of the supporters who liked and shared news of the launch with friends, family, colleagues, and on social media.

We have until May 15 to recruit phenomenal attorneys 3-5 years out of law school to apply for the fellowship. Please continue to spread the word to your personal and professional networks! For more information on the Fellowship, visit our site here, and check out our launch video with Senators Harris, Warren, and Booker, Yale Law Dean Gerken, and former NJ Attorney General Harvey, here

If you know an attorney who is passionate about public service and would make a great Fellow, you can nominate them here

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ANNOUNCING 2 UPCOMING FELLOWSHIP WEBINARS

Do you (or someone you know) have questions about the Public Rights Project Fellowship? We will be hosting two informational webinars on April 10, 2018 at 12:00pm (PT) and April 11, 2018 at 9:00am (PT)!

The webinar will include a short presentation covering basic information about the Fellowship design, the application process, and more. This is a fantastic opportunity to interact with the entire Public Rights Project staff and get answers to your Fellowship questions.

We hope you’ll join us! Please sign up here.

OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT FOUNDER & PRESIDENT AS A 2018 LEADERSHIP IN GOVERNMENT FELLOW

In early March, Open Society Foundation unveiled its 2018 class of Leadership in Government Fellows, announcing Public Rights Project Founder Jill Habig as one of four recipients of the prestigious Fellowship.

The program is intended to help Fellows build on their time in the public sector to develop ideas and strategies that advance the values of an open society.

You can find out more about this year’s class of OSF Leadership in Government Fellows here.

OSF - VOICES - HOW U.S. STATES & CITIES CAN SHORE UP CIVIL RIGHTS

Open Society Foundations published a blog post by Founder Jill Habig about why we need to equip states and cities to bridge gaps in federal civil rights enforcement — regardless of who is in the White House. Check it out here

CIVIL RIGHTS IN SCHOOLS

From civil rights in schools, to the hidden dangers of chronic absence, to the school-to-prison pipeline, education is at the core of social justice issues facing the nation today. That’s why Jill stopped by the “We Love Schools” podcast to chat with host Joel Gagne about how inequity and disadvantages can be disrupted or exacerbated in the classroom. Listen to their conversation here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... 
 


MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL BRIAN FROSH DISCUSSES STATES & CITIES STEPPING UP

In the latest issue of the Harvard Law & Policy Review, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh sums up states’ role in the current political climate: “Many states and localities, in order to protect their residents and vindicate their interests as sovereign powers, are acting to thwart the Trump administration’s attempts to undermine civil rights and liberties, chip away at fundamental environmental and consumer protections, deny people health care, and commit myriad other abuses. For example, my office, working in collaboration with numerous other state attorneys general, has filed suits, intervened in existing litigation, and urged Congress to act to prevent President Trump’s unrelenting attempts to unwind critical environmental, consumer protection, and civil rights policies.”
Read more via Harvard Law & Policy Review
 

HOW A NEW GENERATION OF PROSECUTORS IS DRIVING CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM OUTSIDE OF CONGRESS

Newly-elected Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and former federal prosecutor and Executive Director of Fair and Just Prosecution Miriam Krinsky write about the new wave of reform minded prosecutors leading the fight to change the criminal justice system at the local level. “What’s happening in Brooklyn and a handful of other cities reflects a movement that rejects the regressive policies of years past that have sadly taken hold anew in Washington, D.C. This movement is centered around data-driven policies that have proven effective in state after state – regardless of which political party is in power. It is about strategies that divert those who needn’t be in our justice system, decrease prison populations and reduce recidivism rates.  And, it is being led by new thinkers in the most unlikely, and also the most powerful, of roles – prosecutors.”
Read more via The Hill
 

NEW INITIATIVE LOOKS TO HAVE NYC BRING MORE IMPACT LITIGATION

New York City’s law department plans to look for ways to bring more social justice and impact litigation going forward with a new strategic advocacy initiative announced in early March.  This new effort will be proactive, seeking to find new areas of litigation, with two designated staff members actively pursuing new opportunities.
Read more via NYC Law Department
 

SESSIONS SCOLDS CALIFORNIA IN IMMIGRATION SPEECH

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this month that the Trump administration was suing California over laws limiting state assistance with federal immigration enforcement. Mr. Sessions described the state’s so-called sanctuary laws as a radical maneuver that would threaten public safety and throw open the nation’s borders to even more illegal immigration. Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra defended the legislation as constitutional, saying that the laws prevented neither ICE agents from working in local jails and prisons nor employers from cooperating with ICE.  “California is in the business of publicsafety,” Becerra said. “We are not in the business of deportation.”
Read more via The New York Times