(Washington, D.C.) —Attorney General Merrick B. Garland called on the legal community to volunteer time and legal assistance to confront the ongoing housing and evictions crisis following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down the federal eviction moratorium. The call to action follows a recent meeting hosted by the attorney general and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta with nearly 40 State Chief Justices to discuss the national housing and eviction disparities and potential solutions.
This mobilization mirrors an effort the Lawyers’ Committee has already undertaken through our national Anti-Eviction Defense Project, launched in 2020 in response to the eviction crisis facing communities of color, amidst the pandemic. Working collaboratively with local fair housing and community development organizations, pro-bono lawyers, and law students, the Anti-Eviction Defense Project has provided direct legal services and policy advocacy to improve the outcomes for tenants in Baltimore, New Orleans, and the Minneapolis/St. Paul and will soon expand to Southwest Louisiana.
“The Lawyers’ Committee was founded at the height of the civil rights movement in response to a call to action by President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the private bar in the fight for civil rights. Like then, we are prepared today to meet the call by Attorney General Merrick Garland to mobilize the legal community to protect our nation’s most vulnerable families facing eviction amidst the resurgent pandemic and natural disasters.
We applaud the recognition by Attorney General Garland and Associate Attorney General Gupta that there is a crisis at hand as a call to consciousness for Americans nationwide. We look forward to partnering on this effort alongside our Anti-Eviction Defense Project and other efforts to promote racial justice and fair housing.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s work leading the National Anti-Eviction Project, will continue to work with local organizers and housing groups to ensure that tenants facing eviction have adequate legal representation.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.