Call for Human Rights and Social Justice Articles
About Us: The City University of New York Law Review (CUNYLR), a publication committed to promoting social justice scholarship, welcomes submissions related to our social justice mission. Our journal is affiliated with the City University of New York School of Law, one of the most diverse law schools in the nation.
Topics: We are currently seeking submissions for Executive Articles for our 19th volume (Winter 2015/Summer 2016), which will continue the journal’s tradition of advancing legal scholarship highlighting the touchstones of our publication’s work—including civil rights, progressive legal reform, the impact of the law on marginalized communities, international human rights, and attorney insights on law and organizing. We are also interested in reflections analyzing how recent developments in the law have affected public-interest practices in New York and beyond.
1) Articles should be at least 15,000 words (including footnotes).
2) We will also accept abstracts for article submissions to the Summer 2016 edition.
3) Citations should conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th ed.), andappear as footnotes rather than endnotes.
4) Please include the following contact information with your manuscript: (name, e-mail, school/organization affiliation, mailing address, and phone number)
Deadlines: Winter 2015
August 14, 2015
Historic Washington Supreme Court Decision Impacts Juvenile Justice: Sealing Records Will Allow Thousands of Youth in Washington a Second Chance
Today, in one of the biggest juvenile justice decisions in state history, the Washington Supreme Court sided with former juvenile offenders, Columbia Legal Services, and other organizations in ruling that juveniles can move past their youthful indiscretions in order to contribute fully to society. Writing for the Court in State v. SJC, Justice Mary Yu wrote that making juvenile records open to the public forever except in very limited circumstances would be inconsistent with the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile justice system.
“Today’s decision opens up opportunities for young people while being good for public safety,” said Casey Trupin, Children & Youth Project Managing Attorney at Columbia Legal Services. “If young people are going to be able to move on with their lives and become productive members of society, they need to be unshackled from mistakes made as youth as is the case almost everywhere else in the nation.”
Echoing the brief of Columbia Legal Services, Justice Yu noted that the need for sealing was important to prevent unnecessary denials of housing, employment and education opportunities, and to prevent exacerbation of racial disparities in the juvenile justice system. Data indicate that an onerous sealing process especially impacts youth of color and youth from low-income communities, further worsening racial disparities within our society. Thousands of young people every year will be protected by today’s ruling, as well as more than a decade of laws that Columbia Legal Services helped to write and pass.
Alaska Supreme Court clerkship applications
The Alaska Court System is accepting applications for Fall 2016 for the Alaska Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court is the appellate court of final authority in Alaska. There are five Supreme Court Justices. Four justices are located in Anchorage, one justice is in Fairbanks. The Court of Appeals hears appeals in criminal and quasi -criminal cases (such as juvenile delinquency cases). There are three appellate judges, all located in Anchorage. Judicial clerks conduct legal research and prepare memoranda of law for judges or justices. Positions commence mid-August to early September 2016.
Justice Craig Stowers will be conducting interviews for the whole Court at UW Law on Thursday, October 1, 2015. (Justice Stowers will become Chief Justice in July.)
To apply for positions in the Supreme Court and be considered for an interview with Chief Justice Stowers on October 1, applicants must submit the following: a cover letter, resume, a copy of all law school transcripts, and a brief writing sample which was not substantially edited by someone else. Two or three letters of recommendation from law professors or employers are also required to complete the application and be considered for an interview. All application material should be delivered to the Center for Public Service Law in Room 346 by Friday, September 11, 2015 at 5:00p.m. Please note this date is earlier than deadlines posted on the Court’s website.
You only need to submit one set of application materials, addressed to:
- Chief Justice Craig Stowers
- Alaska Supreme Court
- 303 K Street
- Anchorage, AK 99501
To request letters of recommendation from UW Law faculty, please use the LOR Tracker (https://www.law.washington.edu/students/forms/private/clerkship/default.aspx).
General application guidelines and application procedures for lower courts can be found in guidelines set forth on the Alaska Courts webpage at http://courts.alaska.gov/hr/prosclerk.htm.
If you are considering a post-graduate judicial clerkship an have not yet signed up for UW Law’s Class of 2016 judicial clerkship mailing list, please do so by clicking here (https://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/judicialclerkships-2016) and following the instructions. Please include your full name to expedite the approval of your subscription request. We often send information about judicial clerkships to this mailing list rather than the entire student body. As you may have heard, some judges begin reviewing applications outside of any established recruiting schedule. We collect this information and share it as much as we can, but it is important for you to also do your own research into courts and judges.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Essential Security Measures at Washington’s Women’s Prisons
On Friday, June 12, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Washington’s Department of Corrections (DOC) may require that women correctional officers hold sensitive posts throughout the two women’s prisons, Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor and Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women in Belfair. In so doing, the Court rejected an appeal from male correctional officers and their union which had challenged the employment of women correctional officers in housing units and other places where women prisoners are unclothed or require invasive body searches.
The Ninth Circuit reached its opinion after a long series of court battles which began in 2007 when Columbia Legal Services (CLS) brought suit in Thurston County Superior Court in Olympia against the DOC on behalf of a class of women prisoners. Stemming from a number of incidents, the law suit, Jane Doe v. Clarke, alleged a widespread pattern of sexual abuse of women prisoners by male correctional officers stationed in housing units and other places in the women’s prisons.
“This decision comes after a long course of litigation that resulted in safer and more secure women’s prisons,” said Melissa Lee, CLS Coordinating Attorney with the Institutions Project and representing the women prisoner class. “Before filing the original suit, only men supervised women in their housing units and in highly secure places where women were required to be pat searched or strip searched. This male-only staffing pattern led to significant levels of staff sexual misconduct. Placing women correctional officers inside the housing units and throughout the women’s prisons has ended this unfortunate practice. The courage of the women who came forward to report their abuse has once again been rewarded with a court ruling that protects all women inmates and ensures that their privacy is respected.“
After initiation of the Jane Doe lawsuit, the DOC undertook a review of its women’s institutions, hired experts to provide recommendations and sought approval of plans to require women correctional officers to be posted in sensitive places in the prisons. With the introduction of these and other reforms, the women prisoners agreed to settle their lawsuit with DOC.
Following this settlement, Teamsters Local Union No. 117, the union representing correctional officers in Washington’s prisons sued the DOC in federal court in Tacoma. Though men continued to be employed in over half of the correctional officer posts in the women’s prisons even after introduction of the gender-appropriate designated posts, the Teamsters lawsuit nonetheless claimed that DOC’s women-designated posts discriminated against male correctional officers and violated federal anti-discrimination laws. CLS again represented the women prisoners and intervened in the District Court to protect the earlier court settlement and ensure that the privacy and security of women prisoners was not once again endangered.
After U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle ruled against the Teamsters and dismissed their case, the union appealed to the Ninth Circuit (Teamsters v. DOC, 9th Cir. No. 13-35331 (June 12, 2015)). In its Friday ruling, the Ninth Circuit affirmed that DOC correctly decided to require that women correctional officers supervise women prisoners where they shower, change and use the bathroom. The Court ruled that the privacy needs of women prisoners and the security needs of the prisons supported having women correctional officers present in the housing units. The Ninth Circuit pointed out that the unfortunate history of widespread male staff sexual misconduct against women inmates justified the measures DOC took at the behest of the class of women prisoners. The Court wrote: “The Department was well-justified in concluding that rampant abuse should not be an accepted part of prison life and taking steps to protect the welfare of inmates under its care.”