Free Forum: Jeff Sessions’ Dept. of INjustice


450 fb injustice

A conversation with
Retired Superior Court Judge / Community Activist
Criminal Defense Attorney / National Lawyers Guild Champion of Justice Award Recipient

Midpen Media Center
900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto [Map]
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In what otherwise appears to be a nearly dysfunctional administration in Washington, one cabinet department is functioning all too well: Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice. Under the guidance of this former Alabama Senator, the DoJ is busy reversing years of progress on many fronts.

  • Voting Rights – The DoJ recently backed Ohio’s effort to purge huge numbers of voters from its registration rolls, simply because they hadn’t voted recently.
  • Drugs – Sessions has made clear that he opposes medical marijuana and legalized marijuana. The Federal goverment will continue to pursue marijuana users even in the twenty-six states and the District of Columbia that currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.
  • Affirmative action – DoJ is preparing to redirect resources of its civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies which it claims discriminate against white applicants.
  • Immigration – Sessions is trying to cut off federal funds intended to assist local police agencies in fighting crime, if those departments do not fully support federal deportation efforts.
  • LGBTQ rights – The Justice Department has filed court papers arguing that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, taking a stand against a decision reached under President Barack Obama.

And that is not a complete list, by any means.

We’ll take a long hard look at what Sessions has been doing out of the limelight. We hear plenty about how Trump tweets his displeasure at Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. But we don’t hear very much at all about the damage Sessions is doing to our hard-won rights.

LaDoris CordellLaDoris Cordell is a retired judge of the Superior Court of California and former Independent Police Auditor for the city of San Jose, where she advocated for improving transparency into charges of police misconduct. She was assistant dean at the Stanford Law School, where she helped develop a program to increase minority recruitment. Within a year, Stanford Law School went from last to first place in enrollment of African American and Hispanic students, among major law schools. She was the first female African American judge in Northern California and the first African American Superior Court judge in Santa Clara County. She has received numerous awards and prizes for social activism and breaking race and gender barriers, including the Rose Bird Memorial Award from the California Women Lawyers and the Rosa Parks Ordinary People Award from the NAACP.

danmayfieldDan Mayfield was admitted to the practice of law in California in 1979. He began private practice in 1981 primarily in the area of criminal law. He is a former member of the Criminal Law Executive Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association. He is a member of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the California Public Defenders Association. He is also a member of the National Lawyers Guild. He was recently named the 2017 Champion Of Justice by the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. He also received the Empowering Muslims award from CAIR in 2011 and the Defender of the Year award in 2013 from the Santa Clara County Defense Bar.

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