1972 August 5

Lawyers Group Accuses Justice Department of Failing to Enforce Equal Protection Clause


A group of lawyers representing several civil rights and civil liberties organizations on this day issued an 80-page report accusing President Richard Nixon’s Justice Department of failing to enforce the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and federal statutes designed to provide equal protection. The Lawyers Review Committee had been formed in 1969 to monitor the Justice Department, and the report covered the period from January 1969 through the spring of 1971.

A leader of the group accused the Justice Department of undermining equal protection enforcement by “delay, diminution, and nonenforcement.” Lawyers with the group included Marian Wright Edelman, of Harvard University, Joseph L. Rauh, Jr, of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), Dan Pollitt, of the University of North Carolina Law School, and Lawrence Speiser, former director of the ACLU Washington, DC, office.

The report was released by the Americans for Democratic Action.

Learn more about President Nixon’s civil rights and civil liberties record: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties from Wilson to Obama (2012)

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