Case Docket

Summaries of our current and historical civil rights cases.

We have a rich history of litigating important civil rights cases on behalf of the most vulnerable in society. Our cases have smashed remnants of Jim Crow segregation; destroyed some of the nation’s most notorious white supremacist groups; and upheld the rights of minorities, children, women, the disabled and others who faced discrimination and exploitation. Many of our cases have changed institutional practices, stopped government or corporate abuses, and set precedents that helped thousands.

Currently, our litigation is focused on five major areas: children’s rights, economic justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, and mass incarceration.

Here are summaries, in a searchable format, of our current cases in addition to many over the previous four decades.

Showing 147 Results
Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

February 18, 2002

Each year, thousands of immigrant children are detained and deported. Alone, unable to speak English, and without lawyers, they wait in detention centers to learn their fate. The Center filed a groundbreaking lawsuit to establish their right to legal representation, but the case was dismissed. The district court ruled that children do not have a legal right to an attorney during removal proceedings.

Date Filed

October 29, 2001

Under cover of night and without the knowledge of his fellow justices, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court installed a 2 1/2-ton Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the state judicial building. The Center sued, and the monument was removed from public display; Chief Justice was subsequently removed from office due to ethics violations.

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

January 17, 2000

The Imperial Wizard of one of the most aggressive Klan groups in the country detained and terrorized two journalists covering a story about a planned Klan rally. The Center sued, winning a $120,000 judgment, and investigating criminal charges that sent the Klan leader to prison.

Mass Incarceration

Date Filed

May 12, 1999

The Alabama DOC prohibited its prisoners from receiving gift subscriptions for publications. Inmates were forced to buy subscriptions from their prison trust accounts.

Hate & Extremism
Landmark Case

Date Filed

January 24, 1999

Victoria and Jason Keenan were chased and shot at by members of the Aryan Nations in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Held at gunpoint, the mother and son feared for their lives. The Center sued and obtained a $6.3 million jury verdict; Aryan Nations was forced to turn its compound over to the victims it had terrorized.

Children's Rights
Landmark Case

Date Filed

October 12, 1998

An African-American teenager was denied school enrollment simply because she was homeless. The Center immediately sued, and "Penny Doe" was soon enrolled in school. The case was settled with officials adopting policies to ensure compliance with federal law.

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

August 27, 1998

In 1988, a white fair housing advocate and her daughter were harassed and threatened over the internet by Klansmen and neo-Nazis. After they filed complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Center achieved justice against the hate groups.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

June 10, 1998

A little girl with a severe speech disorder received a special device to help her communicate with family and friends after the Center settled a class action lawsuit against the Alabama Medicaid Agency in 1998.

Mass Incarceration

Date Filed

May 26, 1997

Inside Chess, Harper's, Astronomy, Writer's Digest — only a few of the hundreds of publications effectively banned in 1997 under an arbitrary policy implemented by the Alabama prison's warden. The Center sued, securing an agreement protecting inmates' rights to mailed reading materials.

Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

December 31, 1996

Prior to a Center suit, Alabama immigrants seeking to obtain their state driver's license were turned away or asked to complete the English-only tests. Although the case was ultimately lost on appeal, due to the Center's lawsuit Alabama now offers the driver's license test in eight foreign languages.

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