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Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

October 19, 2011

Linda Smith, a U.S. citizen, and “John Doe,” an undocumented immigrant, had been a couple for more than nine years. When they decided to marry, they could not obtain a marriage license from the Montgomery County Probate Office in Alabama because the office denied licenses to couples unable to prove both partners have legal immigration status. The policy was not required by any federal or state law. The SPLC filed a lawsuit challenging the policy.

Criminal Justice Reform
Active Case

Date Filed

May 20, 2015

State employees at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as “Angola,” routinely and systemically failed to properly assess, diagnose and treat the medical problems of people who are incarcerated at the largest prison in the state, which for years has had the world’s highest rate of...

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

June 26, 2003

After a Texas rancher invited the vigilante border patrol group Ranch Rescue to guard his property in 2003, two Salvadorans crossing the U.S. border were terrorized and assaulted by members of the group. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Salvadorans, obtaining more than $1 million in a settlement and judgments, including the title to Ranch Rescue’s Arizona headquarters.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

July 12, 2018

Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, an entity created every 20 years to revise the state’s laws, attempted to place a constitutional amendment on the state’s 2018 ballot that would have eliminated the duties of school boards to regulate public schools in their districts, including...

Immigrant Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

December 18, 2019

The Trump administration has weaponized the immigration court system to serve its anti-immigrant agenda. Categorizing people fleeing persecution as “invaders,” the government is using the immigration courts to target the asylum system and vulnerable migrants instead of lawfully adjudicating the...

Economic Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

November 19, 2018

Alabama unlawfully suspended the driver’s licenses of thousands of people unable to pay traffic tickets. The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the state from suspending licenses without considering a person’s ability to pay and finding that the person willfully failed to pay. It also sought...

LGBTQ Rights

Date Filed

September 26, 2012

Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere were shocked to discover that an anti-gay hate group took their engagement photo and used it in political mailers to attack a Colorado lawmaker in 2012 for supporting same-sex civil unions. The SPLC and its allies filed a federal lawsuit against the group, Public Advocate of the United States, for misappropriating the likeness and personalities of the couple. It also charged that the group infringed on the photographer’s exclusive right to the photo.

Economic Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

May 18, 2017

The money bail system in Randolph County, Alabama, violated the constitutional rights of people charged with misdemeanors or felonies because it created a “two-tiered” system of justice based on wealth. The Southern Poverty Law Center and its allies filed a federal class action lawsuit to end...

Children's Rights

Date Filed

April 13, 2004

At Columbia Training School, one of Mississippi's abusive juvenile prisons, a policy made it nearly impossible for injured children to speak with attorneys who are willing to help.

Economic Justice

Date Filed

October 19, 2015

The SPLC filed a judicial ethics complaint against Perry County (Alabama) Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins after he required people unable to pay court fines to either donate blood or go to jail.

The complaint described how Wiggins threatened defendants in his court with jail on Sept. 17,...

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