Posts Tagged justice

Job o’ the Day: Director of Justice Programs at Alliance for Justice in DC!

Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ works to ensure that the federal judiciary advances core constitutional values, preserves human rights and unfettered access to the courts, and adheres to the even-handed administration of justice for all Americans. It is the leading expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, providing definitive information, resources, and technical assistance that encourages organizations and their funding partners to fully exercise their right to be active participants in the democratic process.

AFJ is seeking a Director of Justice Programs.  The Director of Justice Programs is a senior staff member who will be responsible for managing research and developing and implementing strategy around AFJ’s justice policy initiatives.   The Director of Justice Programs reports to the executive vice president.

The Director of Justice Programs is expected to be a national authority on the broad range of legal policy issues handled by AFJ.

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Job o’ the Day: Constitutional Litigation at Institute for Justice in Miami, FL!

Tired of working on cases you don’t believe in?  Long to do something meaningful with your law degree?  Love our Constitution and its founding principles?  The Institute for Justice (, the nation’s leading libertarian public interest law firm, is seeking an experienced litigator for its Florida Chapter located in downtown Miami.  With a 20-year track record of accomplishments, including five cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, IJ is the premier law firm working to vindicate the liberties of all Floridians.

The constitutional litigator’s primary responsibility will be litigating cases in the areas of economic liberty, free speech, private property rights and school choice in both state and federal courts in Florida.

Learn how to apply at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Intern in the Office of Civil Rights & Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in D.C.!

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties seeks to provide motivated law students entering their second or third year of law school with a summer internship opportunity in Washington, D.C.

The internship will provide experience in the fields of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Homeland Security, and the practical workings of the Federal Government. This is an unpaid position with no relocation expenses available.  Students are free to seek funding or course credit for the internship, but should resolve those issues with their own law school administrators.

Interested? Learn more at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Low-Wage Worker Litigation Attorney at the Equal Justice Center in San Antonio, TX!

The Equal Justice Center, a public-interest employment rights law firm and systemic justice advocacy organization, is seeking an employment litigation attorney for its office in San Antonio.

The attorney will join EJC’s staff of nine attorneys and will primarily engage in plaintiffs’ employment litigation representing low-wage working men and women to enforce basic employment rights, especially wage rights. The attorney will also play a vital role in the Equal Justice Center’s systemic reform advocacy to empower low-wage and immigrant workers – regardless of their immigration status – enabling them to win fair treatment in the workplace and in the justice system.

To learn more about this position or to apply, check out the listing at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Director of Policy at National Immigrant Justice Center in Chi-Town!

The Director of Policy provides policy leadership and programmatic support to the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). The director develops and spearheads strategic advocacy efforts on immigration-related issues primarily at the federal level. The director of policy coordinates NIJC’s policy initiatives to reform the immigration system. In addition, the Director of Policy is responsible for coordinating the policy reform elements of NIJC’s Detention, Democracy, and Due Process (D3P) Project, a national campaign for detention reform. The Director of Policy will work with representatives of immigrant and refugee rights advocates, legislators, other policy makers and the media. The Director of Policy assists with the drafting of grant reports and project proposals and contributes to cultivating and maintaining donor relations.

Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

NIJC provides direct legal services to and advocates for these populations through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Since its founding three decades ago, NIJC has been unique in blending individual client advocacy with broad-based systemic change.

To learn how to apply, see the listing at PSLawNet!

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University of Utah Law Professor’s New Book Advocates Criminal Justice Reform

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

. . .[Daniel S.] Medwed has blazed a unique trail in the field of criminal defense law. He’s a board member of directors for the Innocence Network and the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center. In 2008, the 43-year-old native of Cambridge, Mass., helped draft and pass a factual innocence bill for the state of Utah, which created a procedure for prisoners to prove their innocence even without DNA evidence. The law also allowed compensation for wrongfully-convicted inmates who subsequently proved their innocence.

Medwed’s new book, Prosecution Complex, published by New York University Press, works from the maxim of 18th-century English judge and jurist William Blackstone that, “It’s better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.” Medwed’s intent is to show where the nation’s criminal justice system has gone wrong, and how we can get it right, his exploration set against the contemporary backdrop in which United States prisons hold more people than were housed in Stalin’s gulags. . . .

Pre-trial mistakes might have the greatest ripple effects. If you charge someone with a crime, even though the evidence is very weak, that sets the case in motion. If a prosecutor does not turn over all exculpatory evidence, it creates a situation where the defendant may be enticed by a plea-bargain. . . .

Prosecutors, the overwhelming majority of them, want to do justice. They come into the profession wanting to do the right thing. But there are so many pressures — cultural, institutional, and political and psychological — that come into bear in prosecution.

Take for example, political pressures. Prosecutors have limited budgets. They’re financially strapped, like all government offices. One way to justify a higher budget is to show that your success with high conviction rates. It’s much harder to show, and more nuanced to demonstrate, that you’re successful when you decline to charge a case. It’s harder to show you’re being tough on crime. Conviction rates become the coin of the realm. The American system of places a premium on winning. . . .

Read more here. Thoughts?

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Center for American Progress Issues Policy Brief on the Consequences of Anti-Immigrant Laws

The Center for American Progress’ latest policy brief focuses on the impact of restrictive state immigration laws, like Arizona’s ‘Show Me Your Papers’ law (which is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court on April 25 for oral arguments), on our country and delves into the practical consequences of such laws.

A few of the consequences include:

  • Pitting pro-and anti-immigrant states against each other by creating hostile versus welcoming environments for immigrants
  • Increasing racial profiling and ethnic division by requiring police to make investigative decisions based on appearance, not conduct
  • Undermining public safety and social cohesion by making immigrant and mixed-status families afraid to report crimes, attend school, receive medical assistance, etc.
  • Creating severe economic harm by driving needed workers and consumers from the states and hurting the states’ reputations
  • Subverting U.S. foreign policy objectives by making foreign nationals and foreign investors feel unwelcome

You can download the 24-page brief here. It has great infographics and identifies states that have either passed Arizona-style legislation, are close to passing Arizona-type laws, or have considered these laws but failed to advance them in the legislative process.

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One Law Professor’s Take on Trayvon Martin’s Killing and Probable Cause

by Kristen Pavón

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in far-faraway land, you’re well aware of the curious case of Trayvon Martin. I’ve shied away from blogging about it here because, frankly, I’ve been pretty outraged.

However, I thought I’d share the following article from The National Law Journal written by Jay Sterling Silver, a law professor at St. Thomas University of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida. I agree with him 100 percent.

Read through and let me know your thoughts!

From The National Law Journal:

. . .[P]olice are empowered to make “probable cause” determinations and arrest suspects at crime scenes, and do so thousands of times every day, to develop and preserve the evidence necessary to prosecute the case. The Sanford police, however, made little effort to thoroughly and immediately comb the scene, question the suspect and any witnesses, and confiscate evidence. . . .

The failure to take the suspect into custody for further questioning, i.e., to arrest the admitted killer standing over Martin’s body with a recently fired gun, was an egregious irregularity in police work that cannot be excused by hollow assertions of the absence of probable cause. The scene was dripping with probable cause, as it is traditionally defined in our criminal law. It requires, as any good cop or prosecutor or criminal defense attorney will tell you — and as the U.S. Supreme Court put it — only “reasonably trustworthy information” supporting a “prudent” belief that the suspect committed or is committing a crime. . . .

No leap of faith was required to reach this conclusion. The police knew that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. He admitted to it. He’d followed the victim after being told by the police dispatcher not to follow him. Without knowing anything more, they needed only to conclude that the claim of self-defense by a 250-pound adult armed with a loaded gun who tracked and killed a 140-pound youth armed only with a pack of Skittles was inherently suspect. Police know, better than anyone else in the world, that suspects have an overwhelming interest in and habit of lying to save their own skin. . . .

Read the rest here.

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Requiring a Pharmacist to Sell Emergency Contraceptives is Unconstitutional in Washington State

From Reuters:

A federal judge declared on Wednesday that a Washington state rule requiring pharmacists to dispense emergency contraceptives against their religious beliefs is unconstitutional. . .

The ruling only applies to Washington state but is sure to reverberate nationally, as it comes in the midst of a roiling political debate about a new federal regulation mandating that all health insurance plans – even those sponsored by religious employers – provide free birth control. . . .

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, a Democrat who had pushed for the pharmacy mandate, said the judge’s ruling left her concerned that some women will be denied timely access to emergency contraception, which can prevent pregnancy if taken within a few days of unprotected sex.

Gregoire said she saw “strong arguments” for an appeal of the ruling, though she said no decision had been made.

The lawsuit was brought by a drugstore owner in Olympia, Washington, and two of his pharmacists, all of whom shared the religious conviction that emergency contraceptives are tantamount to abortion because they can block a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb.

They refused to stock or dispense the medication, often referred to as the “morning-after pill” or by the brand name Plan B, and sued to block the regulation.

“I’m just thrilled that the court ruled to protect our constitutional right of conscience,” one of the pharmacists, Margo Thelen, said in a statement issued through her attorneys at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

The case stems from a rule adopted by the Washington State Pharmacy Board in 2007 requiring pharmacies to stock and dispense most medications, including Plan B, for which there is a demonstrated community need.

In his 48-page opinion, Leighton noted that Washington permitted pharmacy owners to decide against stocking certain medications for any number of “secular reasons” – because they are expensive, for example, or inconvenient to dispense, or because they simply don’t fit into the store’s business plan. Yet the rule did not allow pharmacists to assert a religious reason for keeping certain drugs off their shelves.

“A pharmacy is permitted to refuse to stock oxycodone because it fears robbery, but the same pharmacy cannot refuse to stock Plan B because it objects on religious grounds,” the judge wrote. “Why are these reasons treated differently under the rules?”

Hmmm. Thoughts? You can read the full story here.

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Job o’ the Day: Immigrants’ Rights Internship at Massachusetts Jobs With Justice in Boston!

Massachusetts Jobs With Justice is an activist coalition working on issues of workers’ rights, support for labor, immigrant rights, health care and global justice.

Jobs with Justice is a coalition of labor, community , faith and student organizations working together to build unity and support for the struggles of working people. JwJ is a campaign for workers’ rights. Our mission is to defend working people’s standard of living, fight for job security, protect our right to organize and support contract campaigns and strikes. JwJ opposes racism, sexism, ageism and homophobia and will actively support struggles against any form of discrimination. JwJ is action oriented.

Work with Massachusetts Jobs With Justice to build a movement for immigration reform and immigrant workers’ rights. You will be working with local immigrant community organizations and activists to plan events, rallies, etc. to promote immigration rights and protect immigrant workers from employer abuses.

To learn more and apply, see the listing at PSLawNet!

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