First thing we do, let's pay all the lawyers
June 29, 2017 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Is there a list of good organizations who are fighting the current administration (or just fighting the good fight) in the courts? If not, let's make one!

I'm familiar with a handful of organizations (ACLU of course, SPLC, Natural Resources Defense Council, EFF, EPIC, CAIR) who do a lot of good work in the courts. I would like to donate to these groups. Is there a good list anywhere of organizations who do this kind of work in the courts, especially any fighting for racial and economic justice or voting rights or juvenile rights?

If you don't know of a list, please recommend any organizations you know of that are fighting the good fight in the courts in any area - immigration, environment, education, anything. Non-profit status is less important to me than effectiveness.

posted by kristi to Law & Government (6 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Operation 45: "dedicated to ensuring transparency and accountability for the Administration of Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States," using the FOIA process, organized/ run by "FOIA superhero" Ryan Shapiro and attorney Jeffrey Light, a specialist in FOIA litigation.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) "uses aggressive legal action, in-depth research, and bold communications to reduce the influence of money in politics and help foster a government that is ethical and accountable."

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): "We combine the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild."

Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law: "a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all."

Newsweek highlighted the role of lawyers "leading the fight against the White House" back in February, identifying causes and lawyers, and specifically identified the Brennan Center, CREW and NRDC, while Reuters highlighted the number of lawyers who worked under Obama and who have been fired or resigned and are now working to resist Trump's plans and actions in March, but they don't identify any groups besides Muslim Advocates, "a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths."

In other words, it seems like there's a mix of organized groups and individual lawyers or smaller groups who are working to resist various facets and fronts of the Trump administration, so there's more going on than can be identified by listing formal groups alone.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:12 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

In his season ender last year, John Oliver listed several organizations that are fighting the good fight. They're outlined in this article. We started donating to National Resources Defense Council and International Refugee Assistance Project based on his show, and they're great.
posted by widdershins at 12:03 PM on June 29, 2017

For immigration, there are orgs working on changing or challenging immigration policies and law (for example, challenging the travel ban in the courts), and there are groups representing individuals in immigration proceedings and helping with other individual needs. Both kinds of work are important.

On the policy level, the ACLU has an immigrant rights program.

To help on the individual level, the networks tend to be more local. If you are in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Immigration Legal Defense Collaborative is one of the local networks. Their website also has a list of partner organizations. Here is another list of nonprofits working to help immigrants in the Bay Area, if you would like to donate to one of the listed organizations.

Also, a lot of immigrants in deportation proceedings or with other legal issues work with immigration lawyers in private practice. There is a lot of need right now, and not all of it can be met by attorneys working pro bono or with nonprofits. A lot of people raise money for legal fees within their own families or social networks, but there are a lot of people raising money on sites like GoFundMe. If you are comfortable contributing to individuals in this way, you could donate to and/or publicize these efforts within your social network.
posted by bbq_ribs at 1:18 PM on June 29, 2017

Aww yeah, this is my jam.

Center for Reproductive Rights
The Center for Reproductive Rights uses the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.

Center for Constitutional Rights
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. We do that by combining cutting-edge litigation, advocacy and strategic communications in work on a broad range of civil and human rights issues....

NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America's premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.

Reprieve is an international group of lawyers and investigators, supported by a global community with a shared belief in human rights and justice. Together, we fight for the victims of extreme human rights abuses with legal action and public education.

And seconding Muslim Advocates.
posted by leeloo minai at 4:50 PM on June 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

All of these are great answers. Thank you!

I think I probably will turn this into a web page - I'll post it up on Projects if I ever do get around to it.

(Also on another thread somewhere on Metafilter there was a mention of a ruling yesterday against the EPA; I was able to find the organizations who brought that suit: Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Integrity Project, Earthworks, Clean Air Council, and Sierra Club. So, a few more for the list.)

Thank you so much, everybody!
posted by kristi at 7:40 PM on July 4, 2017

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