Civil Rights

Recent Case: Mitchell v. City of Cedar Rapids

April 23, 2019

The incident that gave rise to Mitchell v. City of Cedar Rapids, recently decided by the Iowa Supreme Court, should sound familiar by now.  In November 2016, a Cedar Rapids white police officer, Lucas Jones, stopped a black motorist, Jerime Mitchell, for a minor traffic violation.  When Mitchell attempted to drive away, Jones shot him,…

Recent Case: Gibson v. Collier

April 12, 2019

Transgender rights are facing a backlash.  Scientific knowledge of the impacts of gender dysphoria (GD) has grown immensely, and medical care for transgender people is increasingly accessible.  These developments have not been paralleled in the courts.  Recently, in Gibson v. Collier, the Fifth Circuit held that a state policy that does not permit gender affirmation…

Recent Case: Jones v. Carter

March 13, 2019

Prisoners lose many of their rights when they walk through the jailhouse door, but the free exercise of religion is not one of them. Correctional officers must provide certain accommodations for prisoners’ religious exercise, including offering religious diets. To accommodate such diets, the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) has some facilities with kosher kitchens, and…

Why the Insular Cases Must Become the Next Plessy

March 28, 2018

Americans who call U.S. territories home face unprecedented challenges. Six months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, many still lack electricity. Guam continues to sit in the nuclear cross-hairs of North Korea. And the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa are experiencing severe economic upheaval following…