Thursday, December 10, 2009

The NAACP LDF calls on Congress to restore American's full and unfettered access to the Courts



NAACP LDF Director of Litigation, Debo Adegbile, testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. While John Payton, the President and Director Counsel of the NAACP LDF testified before the Senate Judiciary committee. In each presentation, the NAACP LDF called attention to the fact that the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal will dramatically limit citizens access to the courts in Civil Rights cases. The Court ruled that a plaintiff must come to the court with 'plausible evidence' of a defendant's liability to prevent their case from being thrown out with a summary judgement.

This is a new legal standard...

Typically in a Civil Rights case; particularly one alleging an act of bias or discrimination, much of the evidence needed to prove culpability is with the defendant. The bulk of this evidence is only obtainable through the discovery process. However, this NEW legal standard articulated by the court says that unless the plaintiff can produce this evidence upon filing, their case may be thrown out and they may not make to the discovery phase.

CLICK HERE to read Debo Adegbile's testimony to the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties

CLICK HERE to read John Payton's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee "Has the Supreme Court Limited American's access to the Courts?"

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