Articles on Human Rights

New Legislation Advances Human Rights in Illinois By Ronald S. Langacker Human Rights, September 2019 During an era where individual human rights are under siege on a national level, the state of Illinois has enacted significant legislation to not only protect existing human rights, but also to enhance them.
Working collaboratively to end human trafficking By Judge Ann Breen-Greco Women and the Law, June 2019 Three legal associations are now working together to address human trafficking.
ConTextos provides creative outlet for pre-trial detainees By Ronald S. Langacker Human Rights, March 2019 One of the objectives of the human rights movement is to reinforce that every individual deserves protections, while concurrently finding a way to balance the individual’s needs against the needs of a criminal justice system that protects society at large.
Cases to watch By Ronald S. Langacker Human Rights, December 2018 Nielsen v. Preap challenged the government’s interpretation of a 1996 mandatory detention law requiring that non-citizens be detained for the duration of their deportation proceedings—without a hearing—because they have criminal records.
Juliana v. United States: The constitutional side of the fight against climate change By Bhavani Raveendran Human Rights, December 2018 In Juliana v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument on whether it should stay a group of children and young adults’ attempt to hold the federal government accountable for not doing enough to stabilize our climate.
A human rights decision in disguise? By Michael J. Maslanka Human Rights, October 2018 An overview of People v. Kochevar, a recent appellate case.
Recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act By Ronald S. Langacker Human Rights, October 2018 An overview of amendments made to the Illinois Human Rights Act, which will help to streamline the charge filing process and provide more avenues through which to seek remedies for discrimination.
The United States left the Human Rights Council…. So what? By Bhavani Raveendran Human Rights, October 2018 The withdrawal of the United States from the Human Rights Council of the United Nations may have a far greater effect than envisioned.
What about the children? A glance into the treatment of immigrant minors forcibly separated from their families By Alejandra Palacios Human Rights, October 2018 As the number of immigrant children sent to shelters increases, so do allegations of abuse against the shelters housing them.
Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission By Kathryn Eisenhart Human Rights, August 2018 A summary of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the Court ruled that it is lawful under the First Amendment to refuse to create a cake for a same-sex couple to celebrate same-sex marriage based on religious beliefs.
A call for downstate bail reform By Evan Bruno Human Rights, December 2017 Human Rights Section Chair Evan Bruno argues that "If Cook County can survive with a $100 cap on all 'bail bond costs,' surely other Illinois counties can as well."
Fourteenth Amendment: The world’s first human rights law By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Human Rights, December 2017 The 150th anniversary of the adoption of the 14th Amendment gives us, as members of the bar, an opportunity to educate the people of Illinois on the amendment’s history and its everyday application in the laws and courts of this country.
The Seventh Circuit’s decision in Hively signals protection for transgender individuals By Juliet Berger-White & Charlie Wysong Bench and Bar, May 2017 The Seventh Circuit recently became the first circuit court to hold that Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination applies to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Did your mother ever tell you to wear clean underwear because… ? By Michael J. Maslanka Human Rights, April 2017 A summary of Mulvania, et al. v. Sheriff of Rock Island County, et al., currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
Illinois Commission on Human Rights to be consolidated into the Illinois Department of Human Rights By Mark E. Wojcik Human Rights, April 2017 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner issued three Executive Orders on March 31, 2017 to consolidate various state government agencies.
Justice delayed is justice denied By Kathryn Eisenhart Human Rights, April 2017 Until very recently the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, like all Federal Courts of Appeal, had held that “sex” under Title VII did not include sexual orientation or sexual preference.
Punishing poverty: Part II By Michelle A. Jenkins Human Rights, April 2017 The second of this two-part look at Illinois' bail bond system, in which author Michelle Jenkins argues that the current system ultimately burdens those it intends to protect.
Punishing Poverty: Part I By Michelle A. Jenkins Human Rights, March 2017 In the first of this two-part look at Illinois' bail bond system, author Michelle Jenkins argues that the current system ultimately burdens those it intends to protect.
Being locked up does not mean being locked out from medical care for serious medical needs which ARE protected by the eighth amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment By Glenn R. Gaffney & Jolianne S. Walters Human Rights, December 2016 While cruel and unusual punishment can take many forms, the deliberate indifference to an inmate’s serious medical condition presents one of the more egregious and often-encountered violations of an inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights.
Comments from the Chair By Shannon Shepherd Human Rights, December 2016 Section Chair Shannon Shepherd shares her thoughts on the post-election impact on human rights.
The Illinois Supreme Court denies property rights to an unmarried same-sex couple who could not get married – Blumenthal v. Brewer, 2016 IL 118781 (2016) By Chelsea Button Human Rights, December 2016 A same-sex couple unable to marry under Illinois law could not claim any property rights because they were not married, according to a recent decision by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Justice denied By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Human Rights, December 2016 Newsletter Editor Kathryn Eisenhart poses the question, "How does the denial of access to the courts affect human rights and what can I do about it?"
A short summary of Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., 2016 WL 4411434 (7th Cir. 2016) By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Labor and Employment Law, December 2016 This opinion is important because it clarifies methods used to determine whether proscribed discrimination has led to adverse employment action.
A short summary of Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., 2016 WL 4411434 (7th Cir. 2016) By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Human Rights, October 2016 This opinion is important because it clarifies methods used to determine whether proscribed discrimination has led to adverse employment action.
Case summary: Blumenthal v. Brewer By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Human Rights, September 2016 This case addresses the division of assets and property jointly owned by a same-sex couple.
Commentary on Blumenthal v. Brewer By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Human Rights, September 2016 Newsletter Editor Kathryn Eisenhart shares her opinion on the court's decision.
Human Trafficking Task Force Act By Michael J. Maslanka Human Rights, September 2016 Illinois House Bill 2822 has become Public Act 99-0864, effective August 22, 2016.
Despite recent progress, criminal records remain a neglected human rights issue By Ken Stalkfleet Human Rights, June 2016 With HUD recently issuing new guidance on the use of criminal history information by housing providers, now is a good time to discuss the human rights issues attendant to criminal records.
From the editor By Kathryn E. Eisenhart Human Rights, June 2016 Editor Kathryn Eisenhart provides summaries of the recent cases of G.G v. Cloucester County School Bd. and Rozsavolgyi v. City of Aurora.
Transgender issues in schools and the workplace: Personal records By Edward Druck, Jennifer Smith, & Brianne Dunn Diversity Leadership Council, June 2016 The rights of transgender individuals and the application of those rights in the absence of specific laws leave schools and employers in unfamiliar territory on myriad issues. This article looks looks at the management of records with sensitive information regarding an individual’s gender transition.

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