William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

“That they may truly and impartially administer justice”



Civil Rights Conference LogoA conference at the
University of Texas School of Law
Friday, February 3, 2012




About the conference:

The ten years since the attacks of 9/11 and range of government responses have featured two important and competing trends in the arena of civil rights damages litigation.  On the one hand, federal civil rights remedies have been increasingly deployed to address alleged government overreach across a broad range of substantive arenas – expanding beyond, for example, traditional domestic policing to address immigration and national security policy.  At the same time, the Supreme Court has increased and added to the range of remedial barriers to successfully litigating such actions – including expansion of immunities doctrines, constriction of the Bivens remedy, and a variety of informational barriers flowing from putative secrecy concerns. 

This conference will bring together leading civil rights litigators, advocates, and scholars in criminal justice, racial justice, immigration, and national security to explore the confluence of these trends across substantive areas, discussing both concrete litigation strategies as well as the broader practical and theoretical context in which these remedial barriers operate.  The day will consist of three panels addressing immunities, Bivens doctrine, and privileges and secrecy, as well as a lunchtime keynote address.

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

Panelists include:

  • Sharon Bradford Franklin – Senior Counsel, Constitution Project
  • Lee Gelernt – Deputy Director, ACLU National Immigrant Rights Project
  • Lisa Graybill – Legal Director, ACLU of Texas
  • Jim Harrington – Director, Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Seth Kreimer, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Jennifer Laurin – Assistant Professor, University of Texas School of Law (Conference Organizer)
  • Javier Maldonado – Law Office of Javier N. Maldonado, PC
  • Rachel Meeropol – Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Ranjana Natarajan, Clinical Professor, Director, National Security Clinic, University of Texas School of Law
  • John Preis – Associate Professor of Law, Richmond Law School
  • Alexander Reinert – Associate Professor of Law, Cardozo Law School
  • Stephen Vladeck – Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law

Additional conference information:

Civil rights and civil liberties bibliography:

Librarians at the Tarlton Law Library have compiled a selected bibliography (PDF) of the Library's recent holdings in civil rights, civil liberties, and constitutional litigation

Conference registration and general contact:

The conference is free, but space is limited. To register for the conference and for additional information, contact Rachel Sidopulos, Center Administrator, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, at rsidopulos@law.utexas.edu, (512) 232-6277(phone). The registration deadline is January 27, 2012.


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