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Landmark Case

Date Filed

July 17, 1973

The Relf sisters challenged the constitutionality of government regulations that allowed federal funds to be used to sterilize minors and mentally-challenged women who were not competent to consent to the procedure.

Landmark Case

Date Filed

January 03, 1972

As late as 1972, there was not a single African American Alabama state trooper in a state that is one-quarter black. African Americans were refused jobs as troopers, but were easily hired as janitors. The SPLC filed suit, challenging the state's blatant racial discrimination.

Children's Rights
Landmark Case

Date Filed

September 08, 1971

In the early 1970s, several private segregated academies were allowed to use public recreational facilities in Montgomery, Ala., for football and baseball games – a practice that meant taxpayers were subsidizing these all-white schools as the public school system was being integrated. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court finding the city’s practice unconstitutional.

Landmark Case

Date Filed

June 30, 1971

The SPLC rectified a 20-year injustice in 1972 when a federal court ordered the paving of 10 miles of streets in an unincorporated black neighborhood near Selma in Dallas County, Ala. The new streets had to be equal in quality to those installed free in adjacent white neighborhoods in 1954.

Landmark Case

Date Filed

December 23, 1970

A married female Air Force officer sued the U.S. Department of Defense to secure the same benefits enjoyed by married male officers. The Center's historic challenge led to a landmark Supreme Court decision, the first successful sex discrimination lawsuit against the federal government.

Date Filed

October 23, 1970

"Dehumanizing." "Intolerable." "Grossly deficient." These were some of the words a federal judge used to describe conditions at Alabama's mental health facilities in the 1970s. Center attorneys worked with others for years to bring Alabama into compliance with the minimum standards of care ordered by the judge.

Landmark Case

Date Filed

January 13, 1970

This suit forced Alabama to reapportion its state legislature and discard the voting system that diluted the voting strength of African Americans. The result was the adoption of single-member districts and the 1974 election of 15 black legislators.

We’re working to ensure that vulnerable children in the Deep South have equal opportunities to reach their full potential.

We’re working to reform the criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems so they operate fairly and equitably; to ensure the dignity and humanity of those interacting with these systems; and to reduce the population of jailed, detained, and incarcerated juveniles and adults in the United...

We’re dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights, dignity and freedom of the LGBT community in the Deep South and to removing barriers to equality.

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