The Section fulfills our role by:
- Raising and addressing often complex and difficult civil rights and civil liberties issues in a changing and diverse society ; and
- Ensuring that protection of individual rights remains a focus of legal and policy decisions.
As described in “Advancing the Law, Protecting the Individual, Defending Human Dignity,” a Section history published in 1999, a large part of the Section’s work centers on ABA policy development and implementation.
Over the last 44 years, the Section has sponsored or co-sponsored hundreds of resolutions adopted by the ABA House of Delegates that address a broad range of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights concerns.
In the past eleven years, the Section has sponsored resolutions opposing “child exclusions” in welfare legislation; opposing efforts to restrict the religious liberty and free speech provisions of the First Amendment; and endorsing legal remedies and voluntary actions (“affirmative action”) that take into account race, national origin, or gender to eliminate or prevent discrimination. It also has supported policies concerning educational rights of the disabled, gay and lesbian adoption and custody rights, racial disparities in drug offense sentences, gender equity in social security benefits programs, and long-term care for persons with AIDS and other serious illnesses.