The National Lawyers Guild had legal observers on the ground in Ferguson to monitor protests against the killing of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. They were also present to help with jail support for community residents. But, while working, four of the NLG’s observers fell victim to the police occupation they were trying to help Ferguson fight and were arrested.
A federal lawsuit filed by local activist Antonio Buehler by NLG Texoma RVP Daphne Silverman against the Austin Police Department has cleared a hurdle as a U.S. magistrate judge this week upheld his constitutional right to photograph and film police officers.
After a setback last week, where the Supreme Court refused to intervene to prevent the DOJ from forcing New York Times reporter James Risen from testifying against a source, several First Amendment groups are calling for Congress to rush to pass a law to make sure he and future reporters aren't forced to testify.
In Breach of Privilege: Spying on Lawyers in the United States, NLG Senior Researcher Traci Yoder gives a comprehensive analysis of covert government spying on the legal profession and its detrimental impact on the attorney-client privilege.
The Maryland and D.C. Chapters of the NLG, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Defending Dissent Foundation (DDF) submitted this letter to the Conference Committee for the Budget of the Maryland General Assembly, expressing concern over the proposed Amendment 923228/1 of Budget Bill SB 170.
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.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Maryland and D.C. chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Defending Dissent Foundation sent Maryland Senators and Delegates a letter on March 3, 2014 urging them to oppose pending legislation that would reduce state funding to colleges and universities that fund membership and activities in organizations supporting boycotts of certain countries, including Israel. According to the legislation’s supporters, Senate Bill 647 and House Bill 998 were drafted in response to the American Studies Association’s recent resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
“The First Amendment still lives in Wisconsin’s Capitol today,” declares Patricia Hammel, the vice chair of the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Hammel, an attorney for one of the singers arrested during Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to silence dissent in the state Capitol last year, was celebrating a major victory in the long legal struggle to restore respect for the Constitution in Walker’s Wisconsin.