Law School conference to address developments in civil rights litigation since 9/11, February 3, 2012

“Barriers and Innovations in Civil Rights Litigation Since 9/11:  Practical and Theoretical Perspectives” will be held at the University of Texas School of Law on Friday, February 3, 2012. The conference will bring together leading scholars and advocates in civil rights, criminal justice, racial justice, immigration, and national security to discuss legal barriers to constitutional litigation in these arenas.  The daylong conference is free and open to the public. Advance registration is highly recommended. The conference features keynote speaker Susan Herman, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, chaired professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, and author of the recently published Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy. 

Three panels during the day will address immunities, Bivens doctrine, and secrecy issues. Speakers will discuss concrete litigation strategies as well as the broader practical and theoretical context in which these remedial barriers operate.  Out-of-state participants include Sharon Bradford Franklin of the Constitution Project; Lee Gelernt of the ACLU National Immigrant Rights Project; Seth Kreimer of the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Rachel Meeropol of the Center for Constitutional Rights; John Preis of Richmond Law School; Alexander Reinert of Cardozo Law School; and Stephen Vladeck of American University Washington College of Law.  Recent cases of note that were litigated by conference speakers include Ashcroft v. Iqbal, Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd, and Minneci v. Pollard in the Supreme Court, and ongoing federal litigation over conditions in the Hutto immigration detention center in Taylor, Texas.

“The conference aims to spark dialog among practitioners and academics who work with and study the increasing array of procedural hurdles posed to civil rights suits across substantive arenas,” said conference organizer Professor Jennifer Laurin of the University of Texas School of Law.  “I’m excited about the breadth and depth of expertise among our confirmed participants, including both the number of speakers from outside the academy, and the number of academics whose scholarly work is enriched by substantial and ongoing litigation experience.”

The Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law is presenting the conference. Cosponsors include the the Austin Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society, the University of Texas Chapter of the American Constitution Society, and the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights.

For more information about the conference and for information about how to register, visit the conference website. The deadline to register for the conference is January 27. 

Press contact: Kirston Fortune, University of Texas School of Law Communications, 512-471-7330,

Conference contact: Rachel Sidopulos, Administrator, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, 512-232-6277,

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