The Daily Outrage

The CCR blog

We Denounce the Supreme Court’s Gutting of Affirmative Action


 Image has a black background with bold white text in all caps that says BREAKING THE SUPREME COURT HAS GUTTED AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. The subtext in red reads quote Color-blindness unquote a mask for maintaining white supremacy as right-wing idelogues deny history of race-conscious justice.

We denounce the Supreme Court’s gutting of affirmative action 

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down affirmative action on college campuses, we issued a response which states in part:

This Court’s obsession with “colorblindness” – a concept nowhere reflected in the Constitution or in the lived reality of this country – is a euphemistic mask for maintaining a default reliance on white supremacy. Such “neutrality” has helped perpetuate centuries of systemic segregation, brutality, mass criminalization, and the associated diminution of Black political power and wealth. 

But the ideology of white supremacy on display gets even worse – or at least more naked. The Court actually green-lights continued race conscious admissions in military academies, signaling that in the United States, it is okay – even necessary – to recruit and train Black, Indigenous and Latinx students to fight U.S. wars of aggression but not to recruit and train them to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, and leaders. 

Ignoring the purpose of the Reconstruction Constitution, the Court traffics only in the 1787 slavery constitution, here protecting a modern manifestation of white property rights…

The full statement can be read on our website.


UN Special Rapporteur releases report on visit to Guantánamo  

Last week on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, released a 23-page report on her visit to the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba – the first by any UN expert. This important report can be found on the UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights's website. You can also view excerpts and our response to the report in this Twitter thread. There were many key findings in the report, including:

The SR [Special rapporteur] finds that arbitrariness pervades the entirety of the Guantánamo detention infrastructure—rendering detainees vulnerable to human rights abuse and contributing to conditions, practices, or circumstances that lead to arbitrary detention.

The report was covered extensively in the media, and you can read pieces that include reactions by our staff experts and clients in Middle East Eye and Common Dreams, and an NBC broadcast segment featured Senior Staff Attorney J. Wells Dixon.

 Image of quote from Guantánamo survivor Ahmed Errachidi, alongside a black and white photo of him. He is looking off to the side a bit. The quote is in white letters on black background. It says quote You feel people are watching you, looking at you. It’s strange. I can’t explain it, the way I feel. You walk in the street and you know people looking at you or you keep asking yourself, do these people know who I am? Do these people know where I come from? Do these people know what I have been through? You keep asking yourself the question. This is a mindset. You cannot get rid of it. Guantanamo, just like a shadow. unquote

ICYMI: "It follows you every place you go”: The Aftermath of Guantánamo 

In addition to the release of the UN report last week, we also joined partners Muslim Counterpublics Lab, No More Guantanamos, Witness Against Torture, and the Guantánamo Survivors Fund for a virtual conversation, "It follows you every place you go”: The Aftermath of Guantánamo. The recording of this powerful discussion can be viewed on YouTube. All of the men who spoke touched on the "long shadow" of Guantánamo that has followed them after release and the need for accountability for what they and others endured. The same sentiment is echoed by the Special Rapporteur in her report. "The world has and will not forget. Without accountability, there is no moving forward on Guantánamo,” she said.

We are energized, and hope these developments will bring new momentum to this fight. Our message is unwavering: we urge the Biden administration to work urgently and meaningfully to transfer men, including our clients Sharqawi Al Hajj and Guled Duran, and to finally close the prison. 

We demand accountability for U.S. government officials responsible for torture and abuse, and reparations and repair for the survivors. Indeed, the Special Rapporteur explained: 

“Torture has no statute of limitations…those who’ve perpetrated it, engaged in it, concealed it, authorized it – remain liable for the entirety of their lives.” 

— Special Rapporteur Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

You can watch the recording of the event on YouTube.

 Flyer of the webinar Resisting Lawfare: What USCPR's Win Means for the Movement Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at 2 p.m. ET. Register here: The flyer background is blue transitioning into yellow. There are photos of the 4 speakers Diala Shamas, Darryl Li, and Lina Assi, and Ahmad Abuznaid. At the bottom of the image are logos of the event sponsors, Center for Constitutional Rights, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), and Palestine Legal.

WEDNESDAY: Webinar, Resisting Lawfare: What USCPR's Win Means for the Movement  

This Wednesday, July 5 at 2 p.m. ET, please join us, Palestine Legal, and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) for a webinar: Resisting Lawfare: What USCPR's Win Means for the MovementYou can register for the webinar on zoom. Our client, USCPR, recently won its case against the Jewish National Fund, which attempted to attack its essential work for Palestinian human rights. This victory is a testament to the growing power of our movement for Palestinian liberation, as well as growing support for the right to boycott. In this webinar, we’ll celebrate this win and break down what it means for our activism and advocacy across movements, from the U.S. to Palestine. Join us! Featured speakers include Diala Shamas, Senior Staff Attorney; Darryl Li, legal scholar and anthropologist; and Lina Assi, Advocacy Manager at Palestine Legal. The discussion will be moderated by USCPR Executive Director Ahmad Abuznaid. You can read more about the case, Jewish National Fund v. US Campaign for Palestinian Rights on our website.

 Group photo from our convening. dozens of staff members posing for a silly photo. Many people are smiling at the camera or at each other.

Our first community convening in three years! 

Last week, after not being together in the same place for three years, the our staff and board gathered for its first in-person community convening. It was a glorious reunion for people who haven't seen each other in years and an inspiring moment for those who hadn't yet met in person. As in most social justice organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic was a major disruptive factor in building, strengthening, and maintaining the culture and working relationships that are essential to our work. Although we work very well from our various locations, we are stronger when we have opportunities to connect in person.  

The weeklong convening started with a Juneteenth celebration and the honoring of our staff, focusing on our operations and development team members who have consistently been in the office over the full course of the pandemic. Next, we had a staff day where we set the stage for building a vibrant, inclusive and safe work culture, and how we might reorganize ourselves to strengthen our movement advocacy. The following day, the board and staff met to discuss our upcoming program of work and what the future of transnational and international litigation and advocacy might look like in the rapidly changing global environment. Finally, the board held its June meeting at the end of the week, fueled by what most felt was an inspiring and joyous week of being and working together.

 Image is the cover page of THE MARSHA & SYLVIA PLAN, A Guide to a More Just, Equitable City for LGBTQIA+ and TGNCNBI New Yorkers. The NYC LGBTQIA+ Caucus logo is in the top right corner, featuring an image of the Empire State building over the progress pride flag. There are three photos on the cover, of three individuals dancing or walking in the streets with people lined up along the street watching them. There are pride flags visible. It appears the subway is visible above them. The background of the image is purple and yellow.

ICYMI: New York City Council LGBTQIA+ Caucus Releases Marsha & Sylvia Plan 

At the beginning of June, the New York City Council LGBTQIA+ Caucus released The Marsha and Sylvia Plan, a policy agenda named in honor of the late LGBTQIA+ freedom fighters Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, which proposes solutions in relation to nine areas of need for the LGBTQIA+ community in New York City: arts and culture; education; government operations; health; housing and homelessness; older adults; public safety; sex work; and youth and foster care. Read more about the plan launch in this article from Gay City News. 

We are happy that the housing and homelessness section of the plan acknowledges the work we have done in collaboration with our client Mariah Lopez to support trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) shelter residents by proposing to codify the reforms we secured in our settlement with the Department of Homeless Services in 2021. Mariah’s organization, the Strategic Trans Alliance for Radical Reform (STARR), continues the work started by Marsha and Sylvia to support trans rights and house LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. You can read the full plan released by the City Council LGBTQIA+ Caucus.


Last modified 

July 5, 2023