ACSBlog

  • September 5, 2017
    Guest Post

    Andy Blevins, Legal & Policy Manager, OutServe-SLDN

    Serving in our nation’s military is undeniably one of the most courageous and selfless acts an individual can make. According to former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, nothing but an individual’s “lack of merit” should prevent them from such service. President Obama agreed: merely being transgender should not disqualify somebody from military service, he said.

    Neither Mr. Carter’s nor President Obama’s statements created a newfound desire to serve this nation: transgender people have been serving alongside us, in silence, forever. In fact, it is estimated that more than 15,000 transgender individuals are currently wearing the cloth of our country. They follow more than 134,000 transgender veterans and precede even more who are standing by, ready to offer their own commitment and dedication to our nation.

  • September 4, 2017

    by Caroline Fredrickson, ACS President

    As we celebrate the achievements of American workers on this Labor Day, it’s high time to draw attention to the Trump Administration’s direct assault on everyday working people – a deplorable record that highlights how important the nation’s labor movement is.

    In just nine months in office, the president has rolled back progress on closing the wage gap between women and men and undermined workers’ pay and financial security. He has fired off a slew of executive orders and rescinded regulations that negated on his campaign promise to fight for the working people. Instead, he is making their lives worse.

  • September 1, 2017
    Guest Post

    by James Tierney, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

    *This piece was originally posted on StateAG.org

    On Tuesday, the citizens of Chicago woke up to discover that their own Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, had sued the City of Chicago and its Police Department and is now asking a federal judge to force the City and other stakeholders to negotiate a consent agreement that would bring about long overdue police reform. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports the lawsuit and stood with the Attorney General at her press conference. This odd coupling is the result of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions backing away from an agreement in principle that followed a scathing U.S. DOJ report in January 2017 detailing civil rights violations by the Chicago police. Indeed, the U.S. DOJ initiated its pattern and practice investigation and issued its findings at the urging of General Madigan.

  • August 31, 2017

    by Dan Froomkinstacks on stacks

    The ultra-high-end real estate business, where Donald Trump made a lot of his money, is the easiest place for oligarchs and others to launder large amounts of illicit cash.

    And because several of the lawyers on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian connections with the Trump presidential campaign are specialists in money-laundering and other financial crimes, some observers are speculating that he may be looking into Trump's past business dealings to see if any of those connections are relevant to the matter at hand.

  • August 31, 2017

    by Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Societyeconomic opportunity

    Tropical storm Harvey has stunned us with devastating images of historic flooding. But for those who are living through the storm and its aftermath, life has forever changed. As one ACS staff member in Houston said, the only thing on her mind was going to a shelter and helping others.

    The fact is all ACS members can help the survivors of Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an emergency order that even attorneys from outside Texas can provide pro bono legal services to state residents. This created a valuable opportunity for ACS’s members to directly assist those who are most in need. In fact, we have been spreading the word and mobilizing our volunteers to get involved.

    Unfortunately, even after hurricane Harvey dissipates, the disaster will continue to unfold for weeks, months and even years as people rebuild their homes and lives. Although lawyers are probably the last people we think of in the midst of a devastating natural disaster, they play a critical role in helping survivors navigate the legal system on a range of issues including housing, benefits and insurance.

    More than 9,000 people are staying in the city’s main shelter, the George R. Brown Convention Center, according to the Red Cross. News clips show that the place has become a common family room with many people lying on piles of cardboard and blankets. These and many other storm images are disheartening, and many of us want to offer our support.

    ACS is grateful that we can play a part in helping survivors recover from the chaos. I urge all of our members around the country to get involved in this worthy effort and others in or outside Texas to lend a hand.