Mass Incarceration

  • February 12, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Jenny Kutner reports at Salon on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s belief that the United States would quickly adapt to nationwide same-sex marriage.

    At The New Republic, Brian Beutler asserts that the conservative case against the Affordable Care Act has reached the point of absurdity.

    William Greider considers in The Nation whether 2016 GOP presidential candidates would try to follow the example of Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore.

    At The Atlantic, Inimai M. Chettiar discusses a new report that shows how incarcerating more offenders may be counterproductive to reducing crime.

    Ciara Torres-Spelliscy writes at the blog for the Brennan Center for Justice that a new case could change campaign finance disclosure laws.

  • January 8, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Katy Reckdahl reports in The Nation on how the collateral damage of mass incarceration often includes the children left behind.

     At The New Republic, Brian Beutler argues that conservative efforts to introduce Obamacare alternatives are aimed at persuading the Supreme Court more than helping voters.

    Jennifer Ludden reports for NPR on a recent hearing on whether a Texas abortion law places an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

    Linda Greenhouse profiles in The New York Times Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and “the increasingly distinctive role he is carving out form himself” at the Supreme Court.

    In The Atlantic, Ryan Park writes about what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg taught him about being a stay-at-home dad.

  • November 12, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Meredith Rodriquez reports in the Chicago Tribune that Judge Abner Mikva, the former Illinois congressman and member of the ACS Board of Advisors, is to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this month.

    In The Atlantic, Stephen Lurie asserts that the best way to fix mass incarceration is for President Obama to take more active role.

    David H. Gans of the Constitutional Accountability Center continues its series on Chief Justice John Roberts with a look at campaign finance and voting rights.

    At the New Republic, Brian Beutler explains why the Supreme Court’s decision to hear another challenge to the Affordable Care Act should  not worry supporters.

  • October 7, 2014

    by Caroline Cox

    Though the United States celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act this year, the criminal justice system remains a significant stumbling block on the path to racial equality. Nicole Austin-Hillery, the Director and Counsel of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Washington, D.C. office, explained that “we are still a country that has a lot of hidden fears based on race.” And it’s these fears that have contributed to the quadrupling of the prison population since the 1970s, policies that make reentry more difficult for prisoners, and police practices that disproportionately target people of color.

    In an interview conducted earlier this year, Austin-Hillery offered her views on the path towards eliminating racial profiling and bias in the U.S. criminal justice system. Her work with the Brennan Center often focuses on voting rights as well as racial and criminal justice reform, and experience makes her well-aware of the challenges on the road to reform.  As she discussed in the interview, changing demographics are creating a greater need to educate Americans about racial justice issues and reevaluate programs put in place after the September 11 attacks.

  • August 6, 2014
    Guest Post

    by Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel of Washington, D.C. Office, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law 

    *This post originally appeared on The Brennan Center’s blog

    Congress went home last week without tackling several critical issues facing our country. This is common in an election year. But this year should have been different. For the first time in nearly five decades, Americans will go to the polls in November without a key protection under the Voting Rights Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court gutted last year in Shelby County v. Holder. When Congress comes back in September, leaders of both parties must act to ensure every citizen can freely cast a ballot.

    Today, on the 49th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, it’s worth looking back at how far our nation has come on voting discrimination and race, and how we can move forward together to ensure equality and justice for all.

    The America we knew in 1965 was vastly different than the one we know now. The civil rights struggle showed our country through a black and white prism. President Lyndon Baines Johnson spoke of this race divide when he signed the VRA, which made it illegal for states to discriminate based on race in voting.

    “The stories of our Nation and of the American Negro are like two great rivers,” he said, “flow[ing] through the centuries along divided channels.” Only after the Civil War, Johnson remarked, did the two rivers begin “to move toward one another.” And a century later, the VRA would allow the two currents to “finally mingle and rush as one great stream across the uncertain and the marvelous years of the America that is yet to come.”