The New York Civil Liberties Union works in the courts as a public-interest law firm, bringing constitutional test cases in state and federal court. The NYCLU's legal program balances enforcement litigation, or cases that enforce previously established standards, and cutting-edge test case litigation, or cases that seek to set new standards. While litigation alone does not represent a complete strategy to preserve and enhance civil liberties, the lawsuits pursued by the NYCLU are important because of the particular wrongs they right, the individuals and groups they protect, and the constitutional doctrines they establish. Our litigation complements our proactive program of public education and advocacy.

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Payne et al. v de Blasio et al.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and The Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit against Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Chief of Department Terence Monahan, the City of New York, and several individual police officers for their roles in the indiscriminate bru

October 26, 2020 Police Accountability Protest Rights

Salim Adrianza et al. v. Trump et al.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s policy to force vulnerable asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico awaiting hearings on their asylum claims, the “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP). 

August 18, 2020 Immigrants' Rights