ABA policy summit yields recommendations for racial equity and social justice – ABA Journal – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Since the 2020 presidential election, the Biden-Harris administration has offered policy correctives on a spectrum of civil rights and social justice issues. Still, we have more to accomplish. The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice’s Rights of Immigrants Committee—in strategic partnership with the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice and with support from the African American Policy Forum—hosted a policy summit designed to advance racial equity and social justice principles.

Among the topics were immigration laws, the legislative backlash against voting rights, racial justice protests, critical race theory, reigning in drone warfare and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Over the course of two days last December, the interdisciplinary conference explored cutting-edge racial and ethnic justice issues. Some of the nation’s foremost subject matter experts developed innovative, concrete, community-driven policy recommendations to achieve positive social, political and legal reforms.

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Legislative backlash: Anti-protest bills, voter suppression laws and critical race theory

In the aftermath of the 2020 election cycle, and on the heels of an historic racial justice movement, GOP lawmakers have responded to the political mobilization of communities of color with legislative reprisals. For instance, in response to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations following George Floyd’s murder, Republican legislators introduced more than 80 anti-protest bills in 34 states during the 2021 legislative session.

Similarly, after historically marginalized communities delivered Democratic victories, Republican lawmakers introduced 361 bills to restrict voting rights in 47 states during the first three months of th


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