Join us in court and defend the right to boycott Olympia, Washington
Join us in court tomorrow in Olympia, Washington, as Center for Constitutional Rights Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood argues in our case Davis v. Cox defending former volunteer board members of the Olympia Food Co-op in their decision to boycott Israeli products in line with the co-op's mission and long history of encouraging social justice.
Courts dismissed the lawsuit against our clients in 2012, 2014, and 2018, yet the plaintiffs have continued to pursue the case in an attempt to chill free speech and punish support for Palestinian human rights. We will continue to argue that the lawsuit brought against our clients is illegal and should be dismissed.
The NYPD needs more transparency, not less. Repeal 50-a.
On Thursday, Center for Constitutional Rights Bertha Justice Fellow, Lupe Aguirre, will testify before the New York Senate urging the repeal of a law known as 50-a, the most restrictive police secrecy law in the country. The law is widely criticized for hiding crucial information about police misconduct and subsequent discipline, if any, from the public.
Her testimony will outline how the repeal of 50-a in the state legislature is a critical and meaningful step toward lifting the veil on systemic issues within the NYPD, which has long been shrouded in secrecy. The safety of New York’s communities — particularly communities of color who bear the brunt of abusive and unconstitutional police practices — is at stake.
“We have long recognized the public’s right to know whether police departments are behaving in ways that are lawful, ethical, and consistent with community values so that they may hold the department accountable for its abuses. We must uphold New York’s enduring commitment to transparency and accountability and protect New York’s most vulnerable communities by repealing 50-a,” said Lupe Aguirre.
Widespread support for ICC Afghanistan investigation, as U.S. renews threats against the court
Last week, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court received a dozen requests to file amicus briefs that would support the opening of an investigation into crimes occurring in or connected to the armed conflict in Afghanistan, including torture and other serious crimes committed by the CIA and other U.S. actors. The potential amici include former international Prosecutors (including the 99-year old American former Nuremberg prosecutor, Ben Ferencz), former U.N. Special Rapporteurs, the former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, international human rights and criminal law experts, and international, Afghan and American civil society and legal organizations. The Center for Constitutional Rights is hopeful that this strong showing of support for the victims we represent in the appeal will translate into a decision by the Appeals Chamber to authorize an investigation at or after a hearing scheduled for December, without further delay.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo renewed his threat that the U.S. would impose sanctions on “any and all ICC officials determined to be directly responsible for an ICC investigation of U.S. personnel, or of allied personnel without our allies’ consent." In response, prominent human rights advocates, attorneys, and academics stressed the seriousness of such a threat, stating that the U.S. government “sets a dangerous and highly damaging precedent” with its decision to impose visa sanctions against judges and prosecutors working for the ICC.
Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher said, "This improper attack on a court of law and blatant attempt to intimidate independent judges echoes the wholesale disregard for the rule of law on full display by the Trump administration at home. We call upon the U.S. to act like a democracy, not a dictatorship, and the ICC to send a clear message that it won't be bullied."