April 2019 Newsletter


We are thrilled to announce that the Cook County (Chicago) State’s Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, has joined the Offices of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul as placement host for the 2019 Public Rights Project Fellowship.

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At the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Fellow will help enforce laws that protect residents from predatory lenders and financial service providers, wage theft, and financial crimes and fraud. The Fellow will also work to develop a program to utilize the civil arm of the State’s Attorney’s Office to further criminal justice reform and increase the public safety of residents of Cook County. (For more on this placement, click here.)

Are you (or anyone you know) a lawyer with 3-5 years of experience? Are you passionate about public service? Interested in developing new skills?

  • APPLY to any of our 3 offices by May 15th at 11:59 PM PT.

  • NOMINATE someone who would make a great candidate.

  • JOIN us for an informational webinar this Thursday, May 2nd, at 9 AM PT.

  • JOIN our 2018 PRP Fellow, David Ureña, for (remote) office hours on May 8th at 11 AM PT.

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We, along with our partners at Justice Catalyst, the Office of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Yale Law School’s San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project, wrote a guidebook, “Local Action, National Impact: A Guide To Affirmative Litigation.”

The guidebook draws from the pioneering partnership between the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office and Yale Law School, as well as from successful case studies across the country on issues like fair housing, predatory lending, and LGBT rights. The guide offers a roadmap and concrete tips for local governments that want to pursue this kind of work by starting or building an affirmative litigation practice. 

Our President, Jill Habig, and Legal Director, Joanna Pearl, wrote about the guide on Take Care: “While cases against the Trump Administration like the census matter rightly grab headlines, the next step is for government to expand beyond reacting to the federal government and use their proactive authority to enforce their residents’ legal rights.”

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We are grateful to our co-authors Christine Kown, Yvonne Mere, Marissa Roy and Palak Sheth and to the following individuals who helped with the guide: Michael Bostrom, Kaitlin Caruso, Ben Elga, Ronald Flynn, Kathleen Morris, Nicole Miura, and Yvonne Meré.

Other coverage:


Oregon Judge Says He’ll Block Trump’s Abortion Rule via Politico
U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane said he’ll grant a preliminary injunction against changes set to go into effect May 3 that would strip funding from any participating family planning organization that offers abortions or refers patients to abortion providers — a provision critics have labeled a “gag rule.”

Third Circuit Court Of Appeals Upholds [CIty of Philadelphia’s] Non-Discrimination Policies via City of Philadelphia
In a win for the City of Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination policies, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld an LGBT rights victory: Organizations cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when finding loving foster homes for children. The court ruled that Catholic Social Services is not entitled to a religious exemption from its contractual agreement to abide by the City’s non-discrimination policy.

On Census Citizenship Question, Conservatives Appear United via The New York Times
The case, the latest test of executive power in the Trump era, was heard by the court against the backdrop of the administration’s aggressive efforts to reduce illegal immigration as well as accusations of bad faith against the architect of the revised census questionnaire, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. It appeared to divide the court along the usual lines, with its five conservative members poised to defer to the administration and the court’s four liberal members ready to question its motives and methods.