Civil Rights and Social Justice

Join Us. Whatever your area of specialization, CRSJ has a place for you. The Section fulfills our role by: raising and addressing often complex and difficult civil rights and civil liberties issues in a changing and diverse society; and ensuring that protection of individual rights remains a focus of legal and policy decisions.

Chair Angela J. Scott Pens First FY21 Chair's Column

Section Chair Angela J. Scott pens her first column of the bar year. In her column, she focuses on the impact of this year and the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and calls for justice for the African American community.


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Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Voting Rights Service Initiative

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice is proud to partner with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on election protection. The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection uses a wide range of tools and activities to protect, advance and defend the right to vote.

Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

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2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit

In the wake of the 2020 US presidential elections, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Rights of Immigrants Committee - in strategic partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States - is hosting a policy summit designed to advance racial equity and social justice principles. Over the course of two days, the interdisciplinary conference will explore myriad manifestations of interpersonal, structural, and institutionalized discrimination to create enhanced awareness around these issues. The convening will also culminate in concrete community-driven policy recommendations to achieve positive social, political, and legal reform to ensure a better tomorrow for all.

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Statement on the Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As our nation mourns this tremendous loss with those around the world, Justice Ginsburg's immeasurable contributions to gender equality, equal opportunity and civil rights will be remembered, but for us this loss is much more personal. As members of the ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice (formerly the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities), we know intimately of her contributions because Justice Ginsburg was more than a longstanding friend and supporter of the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section; in fact, she was one of us.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg in our Human Rights Magazine!

U.S. Supreme Court Justice and former Section Council member Ruth Bader Ginsburg authored an article on Human Rights Hero Constance Baker Motley.

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Human Rights Hero: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Past ABA President Martha Barnett highlights the remarkable impact of U.S. Supreme Court Justice and former Section Council member Ruth Bader Ginsburg on advancing gender equality.

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2020-21 Section Chair Angela Scott Enters New Bar Year with New Initiatives

Section Chair Angela Scott ushers in a the 20-21 Bar Year with brand new initiatives and a new slogan: United for Civil Rights Through Service. During the course of the year, she plans to develop the Section's first podcast, begin a new Fellows Program, lead a Voting Rights Service Project, and more! In her video, she details her full plans for the upcoming year.

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How to Run An Election – the ABA Way Featured on C-SPAN

In August 2020, the American Bar Association passed updated Election Administration Guidelines that we encourage election officials to adopt. The panelists discussed several of the Guidelines, including voting during emergencies, absentee ballots, and voter purging on a recent CRSJ program that was featured on C-SPAN.

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Human Rights Magazine - New Issue Available!

Volume 45, No. 4

The American health care industry is killing us, and the casualties are mounting daily. Instead of saving lives, it is more often taking them, and not only by failing to seriously confront the coronavirus pandemic and racism in the industry, but also by the way health care is financed. We have the most expensive health care system in the world, and until the ravages of the pandemic became undeniable, we could take some comfort in believing it was, at least for those with access, the “best in the world.” This characterization is no longer tenable. In the summer of 2020, with 5 percent of the world’s population, we had 25 percent of the world’s COVID-19 infections and 25 percent of the world’s deaths (more than 175,000 by August 25). And this is just the most dramatic deadly trend.

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Thank you to our Sponsors!

The Section deeply thanks all of our sponsors of the 2020 Thurgood Marshall Award Celebration. The first-ever virtual Celebration was a monumental success and featured remarks from the esteemed recipient and a conversation on justice and equity between Marian Wright Edelman and Valerie Jarrett. Your generosity allows us to continue our work, including expanded programming and publications in response to COVID-19 highlighting the effects of the pandemic on civil rights and social justice, on elections in particular, and on the fundamental causes of inequality. CRSJ pays every gift forward by giving the legal profession and advocacy community the tools to make positive change.

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Whatever your area of specialization, CRSJ has a place for you. By joining us today, you can help ensure that the world’s largest voluntary professional association continues to uphold the Bill of Rights and the ideals it embodies.


Over the past five decades, the Section and its members have worked on hundreds of issues addressing a broad range of civil rights, civil liberties, and international human rights. Today, the Section continues to promote policies affecting religious freedom, LGBT rights, gender equity, and other significant civil rights issues. Your gift will help make our efforts possible for the next fifty years!