MacArthur Justice Center opens appellate office in Washington, D.C.
The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, one of the nation's premier civil rights law firms, has opened an office in Washington, D.C. The new office in the nation's capital stands committed to pursing material and lasting change in issues related to social and criminal justice, primarily through litigation before appeals courts around the country and the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Federal and state governments think very strategically about identifying cases that advance their interests in the courts of appeals and high courts of their jurisdictions," said Amir Ali, Supreme Court and Appellate Counsel in the MacArthur Justice Center's Washington, D.C., office. "There is a need for committed, innovative appellate lawyering that seeks to advance the law in a direction that provides greater protection against injustice and violations of civil rights.”
Since its founding in Chicago in 1985, the MacArthur Justice Center has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s premier civil rights law firms with a strong track record of successful litigation leading to key criminal justice reforms. In addition to Chicago and Washington, D.C., the MacArthur Justice Center firm has offices in New Orleans, St. Louis and at the University of Mississippi School of Law.
CHAMPION OF REFORM
Police misconduct. The MacArthur Justice Center has successfully represented many of the men tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and the men under his command; won the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate how Cook County prosecutors and Chicago police handled the investigation of David Koschman’s death; and won settlements for several other men sent to prison due to faulty police work and coerced confessions.
Death penalty. A leading voice against the use of capital punishment, the Center worked with a coalition succeeding in abolishing the death penalty in Illinois in 2011 and is waging legal battles in Mississippi against the use of drugs that have contributed to extremely painful executions in other states.
Parole revocations. In response to a federal civil rights lawsuit charging Illinois with conducting sham youth parole revocation hearings akin to kangaroo courts, Illinois now provides lawyers to represent youth returned to prison for alleged parole violations, and a second federal class action produced an agreement to provide attorneys to eligible adult parolees along with key due process protections, including being informed of the evidence being used against them, the right to present a defense on their behalf and written findings at each stage of the process.
Treatment of prisoners. In New Orleans, the MacArthur Justice Center represents the more than 2,000 men incarcerated Orleans Parish Prison where violence, sexual assaults, neglect and the denial of needed mental health services have been well documented and resulted in a federal consent decree requiring steps be taken to ensure prisoner safety and adequate staffing. In another case, the Louisiana Department of Health agreed to admit certain mentally ill detainees to a mental health hospital for prompt treatment, ending the practice of warehousing those detainees.
Parish/County justice. The Center is fighting policies in some Louisiana parishes and Mississippi counties where impoverished people charged with minor crimes spend days in jail because they are unable to afford bond; where poor people unable to pay traffic fines and other court debts from misdemeanor cases have been jailed; and where jury selection has been unconstitutionally manipulated to limit the number of African-Americans serving on juries in criminal trials.
Immigration fairness. The Center is assisting efforts to combat President Trump’s discriminatory acts against people of the Muslim faith and has joined ongoing court proceedings to document the President’s long history of animus against Muslim people and urge courts not to overlook that animus.
Rights of detainees. The MacArthur Justice Center has been at the forefront of challenges to the detention of terrorism suspects without trial or access to the courts, and the Center’s lawyers have appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue for the right of non-enemy combatants not to be detained without access to the courts and due process of law.