News & Opinion Archive

NLG Releases Report on Government Spying on Legal Profession, Launches FBI FOIA Project

April 24, 2014

The new report brings to light the government’s long history of covert surveillance of attorneys and their activist clients. The release also marks the launch of a new NLG Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) project that seeks to recover FBI files on individual Guild members as exposed by the 1977 case, National Lawyers Guild v. Attorney General of the United States.

Suffolk University: Partner in Armenian Genocide Denial?

Armenians crucified during genocide
Heidi Boghosian

Students at Suffolk University Law School are urging the school’s president to withdraw its invitation to Armenian genocide denier Abraham Foxman to speak at their commencement and receive an honorary degree. Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League director, drew harsh public criticism in 2007 for opposing a congressional resolution acknowledging the 1915 extermination of approximately 1.5 million Armenians.

Pregnant and Shackled: A Mass Horror Story

Pregnant and Shackled
Dig Boston
March 26, 2014

Urszula Masny-Latos, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, says, “Massachusetts’ physicians often struggle between following Department of Health guidelines or following inconsistent internal policies relayed by correctional officers. Often times, pregnant women depend on their physicians to advocate on their behalf to demand that correctional officers remove their shackles.”

Pro-Palestinian Students Charge Universities With Censorship

Students for Justice in Palestine
NBC News
March 24, 2014

At first glance, the 150 people gathered just outside Northeastern University on March 18 seemed to be staging a typical rally criticizing Israeli policies—an increasingly common sight on left-leaning American campuses. But upon closer inspection, the mix of NEU students and local Boston activists were calling for another thing to be freed: their speech.

Oakland to Pay $4.5 million to Iraq War Vet Scott Olsen

East Bay Express
March 21, 2014

The City of Oakland has agreed to pay a $4.5 million legal settlement to Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old Marine Corps veteran who was critically wounded by Oakland Police on the night of October 25, 2011 during a chaotic confrontation between law enforcement and Occupy Oakland demonstrators. Olsen's legal team included President of NLG-SF, Rachel Lederman, NLG attorney Jim Chanin, and NLG Legal Worker Jacob Crawford.

NLG and Legal Groups to Senators: Rejection of DOJ Nominee Adegbile Threatens Justice System

March 14, 2014

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), along with other bar associations and legal groups, expressed profound concern over the rejection of Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In a letter to the 52 Senators who voted against the nomination, the coalition denounced the March 5 vote as detrimental to the legal system that should be protecting our fundamental rights.

As the letter states, “Rather than discussing the merits of Mr. Adebgile’s qualifications for the position, which both Republicans and Democrats have agreed are impeccable, the debate on the Senate Floor… was shaped by a smear campaign engineered by the influential Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).”

Call to Action: Urge Florida Governor Rick Scott to Stay the Execution of Robert Henry

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) urges Florida Governor Rick Scott to stay Robert Henry’s execution, scheduled for March 20. Given lack of medical support for a new protocol for lethal injections in Florida, the practice of using Midazolam, a drug not approved by the FDA, appears to be inhumane and in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

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