Civil Rights Amicus Brief Project

As part of its mission to advance civil rights through advocacy, the Korematsu Center will be engaged in drafting, as well as signing on to, amicus briefs on cutting-edge issues facing the courts.  In this project, the Center is particularly committed to the process of democratizing the courts - ensuring that the voices of those affected by the courts' decisions are heard. 

Authoring and Joining Amicus Briefs

The Center has authored a number of amicus briefs in civil rights cases, many in partnership with outside members of the practicing bar and other community and advocacy organizations. 

On September 11, 2009, the Korematsu Center filed its first amicus brief in the case of Turner v. Stime, a case involving comments about counsel's race during jury deliberations. See the article discussing the case and brief, as well as the amicus brief that was filed with the court.

The Center has filed two amicus briefs in a child custody case, Katare v. Katare, asking the court to protect against the use of unfounded assumptions related to a parent's national origin. See the article discussing the case, as well as the amicus briefs filed with the court in April 2010 and September 2011.

In December 2011, the Center filed an amicus brief in State v. Guadalupe Solis Diaz, arguing that it is unconstitutional to sentence a 16-year-old to jail for 92-1/2 years for a non-homicide offense.  Also in December 2011, the Center filed an amicus brief in State v. Meneese, arguing that a police officer's search of a student on school grounds must be measured by the same standards as police officer searches elsewhere, not a lower standard that applies to searches by school principals and teachers.  Both briefs assert that juveniles of color are particularly impacted by violations of rights within the criminal justice system.

In addition, through its Amicus Committee, made up of Korematsu Faculty Fellows Christian Halliburton, Julie Shapiro, Andy Siegel, and John Strait, and the Center's Director, Robert Chang, the Center has signed on to a number of other amicus briefs in civil rights cases across the country.