Social Justice

An Urgent Time to Fight for Human Rights

SALT Statement on Human Rights Day December 10, 2016 The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), a community of progressive law teachers working for justice, diversity, and academic excellence, is committed to respect for the rule of law, to an inclusive society, and to social justice. SALT’s current human rights agenda focuses on many critical issues, such as affirmative action, academic freedom, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, institutional racism, inequality, and the treatment of prisoners. This Human Rights Day, SALT reaffirms its commitment to defending and securing the humanity, dignity, and rights of all people. We join with others across the political spectrum to express grave concerns about the future of civil, constitutional, and human rights under the administration of... Continue »

SALT Joins Amicus Brief with the NY Court of Appeals Addressing Color Discrimination in Jury Selection

On October 20, 2016, SALT joined the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality (Korematsu Center), 18 other bar associations and non-profit organizations, and 32 law school professors in filing an amicus brief with the New York Court of Appeals, urging the Court to recognize that excluding an individual from jury service based on the color of her skin violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States and New York Constitutions. The United States Supreme Court held in the seminal case Batson v. Kentucky that a prosecutor who exercises a peremptory strike raising an inference of racial discrimination must provide a neutral explanation for the strike. 476 U.S. 79, 97 (1986). In the case before the New... Continue »

Teaching Opportunity at Port Au Prince, Haiti

Daly Quigley letter to American Law Professors (1) To: Law Professors Interested in International Social Justice From: Erin Daly, Widener University Delaware Law School, Bill Quigley, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Dear Colleagues: We write to invite you to participate in an exciting experience — to share some of your knowledge with Haitian law students at the Université de la Fondation Dr Aristide (UNIFA) in Port au Prince, Haiti. Both of us have had the privilege of working here at UNIFA. Erin Daly is responsible for Institutional Development during this academic year; Bill Quigley taught a short seminar on Social Justice Law. Other faculty members from American law schools have also taught at UNIFA in the past few years. Courses can range from one-day seminars to multi-week or… Continue »

Unwarranted Warrants in Baltimore

In this holy day season of Light, Hope, and “good will toward all humanity,” we join together to trumpet our support for the proposal put forth by Professor Doug Colbert’s University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law students in their op-ed piece in the Baltimore Sun (“Unwarranted Warrants in Baltimore,” Thursday, December 10, 2015).   The idea of a “Warrant Forgiveness Program,” that allows for the one-time re-scheduling of court appearances for failure to appear may not solve all the problems of our criminal justice system, but can serve as a spark of light and hope for some who must navigate the system.  This program will serve the guiding principle of “harm reduction,” rooted in our values of justice and forgiveness, and will allow offenders to meet their… Continue »

SALT Supports Law for Black Lives Conference in NYC

SALT was proud to be one of the sponsors supporting Law For Black Lives, a national gathering of lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers committed to building a world where #BlackLivesMatter. The Law For Black Lives program conference was held July 31- Aug. 1 in Harlem. It united legal advocates from around the country to explore ways to support the growing Movement for Black Lives.  The event was organized by a planning committee that included representatives from the Center for Constitutional Rights, Dream Defenders, the National Bar Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People LDF and the Community Justice Project. Discussions covered a wide range of issues including abusive policing, environmental justice and transgender rights. Continue »

The American Psychological Association Resolution of August 7, 2015: One More Milepost on the Road to Full Accountability for United States Torturers

  By Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law   As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice.  On August 7, it bent a little more that way with the monumental passage of the American Psychological Association Resolution banning psychologists from torture.  This largest worldwide organization of 130,000 psychologists, after a ten year struggle to bring to light the collusion of the association and key members in the torture, decided to chart a fundamentally new course with this resolution.   It will have impact in the national security establishment and will be known to the state licensing boards that license psychologists.   It will assist international efforts around the world by psychologists to resist their participation in… Continue »

State Violence and Psychologists: the American Psychological Association, Police Killings and Torture

By Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law This week the American Psychological Association (APA) is holding its annual meeting in turmoil resulting from the scathing independent review – the Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture or the Hoffman report – of the role of the APA leadership and specific present and former members in enabling torture in the War on Terror in the period just after Abu Ghraib came to light in 2004.  The willingness of the APA to provide cover for the torture is at the heart of the discussion.  There have been resignations and firing and pushback by groups such as the Society of Military Psychologists to defend what was done in that period.  The… Continue »

A Personal Note: Juneteenth and June26th

By Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law   With Charleston funerals and the Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision occurring today, there are many emotions in the air.  I think of my childhood friend, Reggie Eley.  He was my first best friend – running through the backyard bushes to his house, playing kids games in the backyard with my cousins and family, reading twelve cent comic books, assembling and flying cheap wooden airplanes, etc in East Orange, New Jersey.  Reggie came out in his late twenties or early thirties and was one of the early casualties of AIDS.  When I saw him late in his life in the hospital it was a very sad moment, but it was also very moving to see how… Continue »

SALT Proudly Counts Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Among Its Founders

  RBG Jan. 3 2014 letter to SALT   June 26, 2015 —On the occasion of its 40th Anniversary celebration and annual awards in 2014, United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sent greetings to the Society of American Law Teachers and reflected on her role in founding the organization with other law faculty in 1974, and the role that SALT will play into the future.  We post the letter here on this historic day for LGBT rights at the Supreme Court. Continue »

SALT CELEBRATES THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY

June 26, 2015 — The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) hails the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges today.   Since 1974, SALT has advocated for justice, diversity and human rights in legal education and beyond.  In the 1990s, SALT worked against the military’s 1996 ban on gays and lesbians, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  In early 2013, SALT worked with the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, to create a policy paper on sexual orientation and gender identity protections at religiously affiliated law schools.  The organization continues a commitment to LGBT equality issues, evident in its historical involvement in landmark privacy and LGBT rights cases.  In 2013, SALT joined amicus briefs in both the Perry and Windsor cases before the Supreme Court, challenging California’s Proposition Eight and the… Continue »