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The Public Policy Project advocates for the effective advancement of civil rights law at the state and federal level working with other organizations as well as legislators.

Public Policy Platform

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, led by the Public Policy Project, released its 2020 Policy Platform document to both major presidential campaigns and the public this month. The Policy Platform document highlights several critical civil rights priorities to continue the work of dismantling systemic racism and advancing equality.

Progress has stalled on racial justice within our nation. Employment, housing, education, voting rights, healthcare, and the criminal justice system all reinforce a racial caste system.  

Highlights from this year’s Public Policy Platform: 

  • Ensuring Racial Health Equity: We will fight to preserve and strengthen anti-discrimination provisions under the Affordable Care Act and relevant civil rights laws to ensure protections for people of color who experience discrimination in healthcare. We advocate for mandating the collection and release of health data based on race and ethnicity by the state and federal government agencies, and increase funding for hospitals and care centers providing COVID-19 treatment to communities of color to address the grave racial disparities in testing, treatment, and case outcomes. 
  • Promote Fair and Integrated Housing: We will fight to enforce the Fair Housing Act to its full extent by furthering fair housing and protecting people from housing discrimination, and ensure that disparate impact claims are preserved as a critical and necessary litigation avenue for people who experience discrimination in housing and lending. 
  • Protect Voting Rights: We will fight to make sure the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) is signed into law. This bill will ensure discriminatory voting laws and policies are blocked from taking effectexpand the access to vote to millions, and make clear that racist voter suppression tactics will not be tolerated.
Testimony Before Congress

Our staff members testify before Congress about a host of issues, including the advancement of voting rights, election administration, policing practices and law enforcement accountability, the rise of hate crimes and white nationalism, discrimination in the automobile loan and insurance industries, the impact of COVID-19, and more. 

View our testimony before Congress.

Legislative Endorsements

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law supports, endorses, and advocates for legislation that advances civil rights and addresses racial inequality. This Congress, there are numerous bills that have been proposed by legislators to expand access to the ballot box, address discriminatory policing practices, increase diversity in our nation’s schools, and more.  


The American Rescue Plan:   

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the existing racial inequalities in our society, as Black Americans and other communities of color have been hit hardest by the pandemic and face far more disadvantages, including unequal access to education through remote learning, greater evictions and housing instability, and higher unemployment rates. The American Rescue Plan can deliver on getting communities of color and low-income communities the necessary resources and relief.   

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law by President Biden on Friday, March 12.   

View our endorsement.  

Read our letter to Congress. 


The For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1):   

H.R.1 is transformative voting rights legislation that will enfranchise millions of Americans and drastically expand access to the ballot box. H.R.1 would require every state to create an online voter registration system and allow same-day voting; offer at least 15 consecutive days of early voting; automatically register to vote any unregistered eligible citizens; and place early voting locations near public transportation.    

H.R.1 passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 4, 2021, and was introduced in the U.S. Senate as S.1 on March 17, 2021. 

Read our endorsement.    

View our letter to Congress. 


The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act: 

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would make necessary reforms to our nation’s discriminatory policing practices, and create greater accountability and transparency to the public. The Justice in Policing Act ends qualified immunity, bans no-knock warrants, requires the creation of a national database of police misconduct, and more.   

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 4, 2021 and will likely be introduced in the Senate later this month.  

Read our endorsement. 


The Strength in Diversity Act:  

To ensure all students receive a high-quality education that promotes diversity and inclusion, and to support cross-cultural understanding and the breaking down of stereotypes, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has endorsed the Strength in Diversity Act. The legislation calls for developing and implementing new strategies in our nation’s public schools to promote inclusion, which would strengthen our education system and equip students to succeed in our multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-faith nation.   

Read our endorsement. 


The Equality Act (H.R. 5): 

The Equality Act would clarify that LGBTQ+ persons are protected under our nation’s civil rights laws.  The bill would also strengthen public accommodations laws, which would allow everyone in the country to engage in public life without the fear of harassment or discrimination.    

The Equality Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 25, 2021 and was introduced in the Senate on March 17.   

Read our endorsement.  

View our letter to Congress. 


The SAFE TECH Act:  

The Safeguarding Against Fraud, Exploitation, Threats, Extremism and Consumer Harms (SAFE TECH) Act will reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and strengthen the ability to hold online business accountable when they violate civil rights laws. The bill removes Section 230 immunity for advertisements and other paid services, which means that if a platform is paid to distribute a piece of content, it can be held legally accountable for harms caused by that content. 

Read our endorsement. 

Nominations & Judicial Diversity

Supreme Court Nominations

Nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court

The Lawyers’ Committee Releases Report Evaluating Supreme Court Nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Full Record and Issues Statement Opposing the Nomination.

  • Read Full Letter on Behalf of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Lawyers’ Committee Statement on President’s Nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court.

Watch our Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett & the Threat to our Civil Rights Briefing on What’s at Stake for Women and People of Color with the Nomination.

Read our Blog Recapping Judge Barrett’s Nomination Hearings Before the Senate Judiciary Committee October 12-15, 2020.

The Lawyers’ Committee Urges Postponement of Supreme Court Nomination Process Until the Presidential Election Has Been Decided and the Next President Inaugurated.

Nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court

Lawyers’ Committee Releases Report Evaluating Supreme Court Nominee Judge Merrick Garland’s Full Record on Civil Rights Cases and Issues Statement to U.S. Senate Urging Immediate Hearing and a Vote.

Lawyer’s Committee Statement on President’s Nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to United States Supreme Court.

National Lawyers’ Committee Reacts to Past 100 Days of Inaction by Senate Majority to Fill the Vacant U.S. Supreme Court Seat.  Click here for the statement.

Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court

Judge Neil Gorsuch – Fact Sheet

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Issues Response to President’s Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.  Click here for the statement.

Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Issues Response to President’s Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.  Click here for the statement.

District Courts and Courts of Appeals Nominations

Nomination of Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law opposes the nomination of Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Wilson’s egregious record perpetuating myths of voter fraud and opposing access to healthcare would pose a significant threat to Black Americans and other people of color if he were confirmed.

Nomination of Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights opposes the nomination of Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Menashi’s inflammatory writing, anti-civil rights and anti-immigrant record demonstrate that he cannot serve as a fair and impartial appellate judge. If confirmed, Menashi would cause significant harm to our country, particularly to African Americans and other communities of color, and to the integrity of the federal bench.

Nomination of Michael Park to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Nomination of Kenneth K. Lee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Senate Resolution 50: Reduction in Post-Cloture Consideration Hours

Executive Nominations

Nomination of the Hon. Merrick Garland to serve as United States Attorney General

Nomination of Vanita Gupta to serve as Associate Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice

Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as United States Attorney General

Nomination of Betsy Devos to serve as United States Secretary of Education

Nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development


Judicial Diversity

The Judicial Diversity Program seeks to improve the judicial system through increased representation from people of diverse backgrounds working on the judicial bench. The American Bar Association has cited the need to attain greater diversity in the judiciary, and to prove systematic, structured advisory support to the judiciary.  This program seeks to satisfy that need.

The Lawyers’ Committee works toward the goal of judicial diversity in three ways:

  1. A mentorship and networking program for attorneys and law students who might be interested in joining the bench.
  2. Educating the public on the benefits of increased diversity on the bench.
  3. Advocating for structural reforms to increase transparency and accountability in the judicial selection process.

Currently, the Lawyers’ Committee’s judicial diversity work is focused on programs in Washington and North Carolina.

Please visit our resources page for research, guidebooks, and general information on judicial diversity.

    Take Action

    The importance of contacting your legislator:

    One of the best ways to help create change on the federal level is to get in contact with your members of Congress. As a constituent, your needs and concerns are of major importance to the house member or senator representing you on the national level. Because it is often hard for lawmakers to conceptualize the direct impact of legislation they work with—how it impacts real people their day to day lives—describing your personal connections with or opinions on a specific issue is a valuable act.

    How to construct a letter to your legislator:

    When attempting to contact a member of congress, it is always best to reach out to the representative from your area or the senators from your state. These legislators are aware that your needs, as a constituent, are what matter most. So they are more likely to take your needs into consideration.

    Try to focus your letter on a single topic or issue. This allows your legislator to focus directly on the issue that matters most to you. At the beginning of your letter, be sure to write who you are and why you are writing. Try to include as many details as possible—if talking about a certain bill, include the correct title or number. If you need help in finding the number of a bill, use the Thomas Legislative Information System.

    Most importantly, explain how the issue you are discussing affects you and others. Try to close your letter by requesting a specific action for your legislator: voting for or against a bill, or changing a general policy.

    Helpful format information:

    Addressing Members of Congress
    To Your Senator:
    The Honorable (full name)
    (Room #) (Name) Senate Office Building
    United States Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Senator:

    To Your Representative:
    The Honorable (full name)
    (Room #) (Name) House Office Building
    United States House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Representative:

    Finding Their Addresses

    Senate and House of Representatives

    U.S. Senators (web sites and mailing addresses)

    Write Your U.S. Representative (A service of the House that will help you by identifying your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives and providing contact information.

    Cite these legislation identifiers when writing to members of Congress

    House Bills: “H.R._____
    House Resolutions: “H.RES._____
    House Joint Resolutions: “H.J.RES._____
    Senate Bills: “S._____
    Senate Resolutions: “S.RES._____
    Senate Joint Resolutions: “S.J.RES._____

    Sample Letter: