California Bar Foundation's curated briefing on what's driving the social justice conversation
in California and across the country.
California Bar Foundation's curated briefing on what's driving the social justice conversation
in California and across the country.
TOP NEWS Judge orders Trump Administration to allow abortion for undocumented teen
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. government to allow an undocumented teenager in its custody to have an abortion, after saying she was “astounded” the Trump administration was trying to prevent the procedure.
Lawyers for Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington that the 17-year-old, who crossed the border from Mexico illegally last month, did not have a constitutional right to an elective abortion in federal custody, unless it was a medical emergency.
“I am astounded by that position,” Chutkan said in a 40-minute hearing that was mostly consumed by a back-and-forth between the judge and Scott Stewart, a deputy assistant attorney general.
She ordered the government to transport the teenager to have the procedure — or allow her guardian to transport her — “promptly and without delay.”
ACLU lawyer Brigitte Amiri argued that it was “out of any sort of constitutional bounds” for the U.S. government to block the teenager’s legal right to an abortion, which is preserved in the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling.
All the government had to do, the judge said, is process the paperwork to let the girl visit the clinic, just as they would if she needed to have her tonsils removed.
Stewart said the girl could also voluntarily leave the United States and find another way to have an abortion, and said the girl had chosen to remain in federal custody instead of returning home.
That claim appeared to irk the judge, who pointed out that the federal workers took the girl, against her wishes, to a Christian pregnancy facility for counseling and also informed her mother about the abortion. Both steps potentially violated the girl’s constitutional right to privacy and other protections, Chutkan said.
“The government certainly had no problem taking her against her will to receive pregnancy counseling, which was designed to change her mind,” Chutkan said. “The government didn’t seem to have any problem facilitating that.”
The teenager is 15 weeks pregnant, and Texas bars most abortions after 20 weeks.
Article by Washington Post. Read More Here>>>
Muslim Ban Update Hawaii judge once again halts travel ban
President Trump’s attempts to block travelers from a handful of countries — most of them predominantly Muslim — from coming to the United States hit another legal snag on Tuesday, when a federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order freezing most of Mr. Trump’s third travel ban the day before it was to take effect.
The third travel ban, Judge Watson wrote on Tuesday, “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.” Among those flaws, he wrote, was that the ban “plainly discriminates based on nationality” in a way that undercut “the founding principles of this Nation,” and that the government had not shown that the United States’ national interests would be harmed by admitting travelers from the affected countries.
The judge found that the government’s rationale for barring people from certain countries from entering the United States — that doing so would bolster national security — did not make sense, writing that the administration had failed to show a clear link between a person’s nationality and the threat he or she posed.
“The categorical restrictions on entire populations of men, women, and children, based upon nationality, are a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of ‘public-safety and terrorism-related information’ that the president identifies,” the judge wrote. Meanwhile, he added, dangerous people of other nationalities could fall outside the scope of the ban: “This leads to absurd results,” he wrote, adding that the executive order was “simultaneously overbroad and underinclusive.”
Article by NY Times. Read More Here>>
Watch This Hawaii Attorney General: this EO stands against diversity, inclusivity
Activist Lawyers Lawyers keep blocking the Administration at every turn
As the Trump administration seeks to obliterate Obama-era policies, progressive lawyers are racing to court asking for an extreme form of relief, urging judges to reach deep into their judicial tool kits and issue national -- even global -- injunctions.
Already, federal judges have issued injunctions on various versions of President Donald Trump's travel ban and his policy toward so-called sanctuary cities.
Finding success, liberal lawyers are also challenging -- and sometimes asking for similar relief -- in the areas of LGBT rights, Obama-era policies aimed at young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children and the contraceptive mandate.
And that's just the beginning.
Less than an hour after the administration announced a termination of cost-sharing reduction payments related to the Affordable Care Act late Thursday, attorneys general in New York and California warned they would go to court.
In April, a federal judge in California temporarily enjoined a section of the President's executive order meant to strip federal money from so-called sanctuary cities that harbor undocumented immigrants.
In a statement, the White House blasted the ruling.
"Today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy," the statement read. "This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”
Yet back when the Obama administration suffered a similar fate at the hands of Hanen, then-Sen. Sessions had no complaints.
"Thankfully, over a year ago, Judge Andrew Hanen in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an injunction that stopped the Obama administration from proceeding with its lawless immigration system," Sessions said in a statement, according to WBRC in Alabama.
Article by CNN. Read More Here>>
More of This Ellisen Turner becomes first Black managing partner of Irell & Manella
Irell & Manella has a new managing partner. That fact isn’t particularly surprising — management changes at Biglaw firms happen with regularity. But Ellisen Turner, who recently got the nod to manage Irell, is African-American. Given the lack of diversity in the upper echelons of Biglaw, well, this is big news.
Turner admits to feeling pressure to succeed in his new role, especially because he doesn’t want to “fail” his community. And he says those expectations are pretty universal when diverse persons are elevated to important positions, “Even if someone says, ‘I don’t feel that pressure,’ there’s pressure.” He hasn’t lost his perspective though, saying this is on a different level than experiences his father went through:
“My dad was one of the Norfolk 17 who integrated public schools in Norfolk, Virginia. I know what real pressure is like. And this doesn’t compare to what my dad went through. They were spat upon, and people tried to stab them.”
But one of the most illuminating moments occurs when Turner is asked if he’s experienced racism in his career:
"When I was interviewing at firms, a partner invited me to go to the firm’s box at a Lakers game. When I went showed up, one of the first things a partner there said to me was, “We have enough soda.” He assumed I was there to serve them. I didn’t go to that firm. That attitude is there. There are people who have not interacted much with blacks, who can’t imagine that a young black man could be a lawyer.”
“But I don’t think we’re in as bad a position as people think we are. I believe firms and companies are not just giving lip service to diversity. I believe they think diversity will lead to better outcomes. But they are not quite clear about the tools that will get it done. People are having serious conversations about diversity. You have might have setbacks, and some people—well-meaning people—will work against your goals. But even those setback open doors.”
Article by Above the Law. Read More Here>>
Less of This Why are Latinx lawyers so scarce?
Even though the U.S. Latino population continues to grow, Hispanics remain disproportionately under-represented in the legal field.
While a law career can provide entrée into influential sectors of society, the academic requirements, long process, and high costs involved seem to be discouraging many Latinos from pursuing this career. As a result, say legal experts, educators, and professionals, the lack of Latino attorneys will impact the Hispanic community’s advancement for years to come.
According to statistics from the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Hispanics – who are 18 percent of the population – comprise about 4 percent of U.S. lawyers. For Latinas, these numbers are even smaller; Latinas account for less than 2 percent of American lawyers.
Not only are Latinos in the legal field statistically rare, these numbers shrink when broken down by areas of specialization. Hispanics are 1.8 percent of law firm partners, and 4.5 percent of federal and state judicial positions. Such numbers matter, lawyers say, because corporate partners are highly influential, while federal prosecutors carry the full force of the law with them.
In particular, the lack of Latinos at the state judicial level holds implications for the criminal justice system. Prosecutors decide when to bring an indictment, what charges to seek, and what sentence to recommend for crimes. In California, where Latinos comprise about 40 percent of the population, a 2015 study found that only 9 percent of prosecutors were Latino.
These low numbers are the “biggest concern” for Erica V. Mason, president of the Hispanic National Bar Association.
For starters, Mason believes that the legal profession has an overall image problem. “People hate lawyers, they think we are liars and cheaters. People don’t see the good that we do, they have lost sight of that,” she said.
“Plus, with so few of us, many young Latinos have never met a Latino lawyer,” Mason said. “So how could they want to be one?” She points to what she calls “the pipeline problem” in attracting Latinos into the legal profession.
Article by NBC News. Read More Here>>
Tweet of the Week Latinx student on why he wants to become a lawyer
Perspective Stop donating goods to disaster victims. What they need is money.
72 hours ago, the worst wildfire in California history sparked in my backyard, in Sonoma, Napa, and many surrounding areas. Thousands of people have been evacuated and many have lost their homes already, and the fire still rages on un-contained today.
Yesterday, to try to turn my worry into a positive act, I signed up to work at an evacuation shelter in Petaluma, in the capacity of Spanish interpreter and seasoned disaster relief volunteer. I spent a fulfilling day… boxing up literally thousands of surplus donations of deodorant and toothpaste.
By the time I left at 4 PM, I had boxed up a surplus of around 5,000 toothbrushes and 3,000 sticks of deodorant. This was at a shelter with around 100 evacuees!
3,000 deodorants times $3 each was $9000! What if each family at the shelter had instead received $500 instead of being offered more toiletries? What were we going to do with all that deodorant?
The Center for International Disaster Information implores you to consider that a cash donation is not only the most efficient and effective way to maximize your donation’s impact, but also that it does more to stimulate local economies (which may be suffering,) and decreases the environmental impacts associated with transporting goods.
So please: just give money. People who are poor, or suffering, or who have endured a disaster, do not need or want your goods. They need and want your money.
Editorial published on Medium. Read More Here>>
Free Event Prosecutors to Change the World
Justice advocates and legal organizations aim to spark an important new conversation in the California legal community: prosecutors can and should be vehicles for social change.
Wednesday November 1 in Los Angeles. Get free tickets here >>>
Event Transgender Law Center celebrates 15 years
We will mark the milestone by reflecting on the incredible resilience of our community, celebrating the advancement of rights and justice, and paving the way forward. This year’s anniversary celebration promises to be the best SPARK! yet.
Thursday October 19 in San Francisco. Get tickets here >>>
Event BALIF + CRLA Halloween Fundraiser
On Wednesday, October 25th join BALIF & CRLA for a night of costumes, cocktails & revelry at the SomaR Bar (1727 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA), from 6:00-8:00pm Tickets are $20 and all proceeds benefit the CRLA.
Wednesday October 25 in Oakland. Get tickets here >>>
Job Opportunity Root & Rebound hiring National Partnerships Manager
Root & Rebound provides expertise in all areas of reentry law to individuals with past justice involvement, families with incarcerated loved ones, and community based organizations and agencies, so that we more fully live up to our ideals and become a society that supports opportunities for all.
Apply here >>>