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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Broadway Triangle Community Coalition v. Bloomberg

On September 4, 2010 the New York Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady joined Brooklyn Legal Services as co-counsel in a housing discrimination lawsuit arising from plans to build a substantial amount of new low-income housing at a 31-acre site known as t

December 4, 2017 Racial Justice

NAACP Spring Valley v. East Ramapo Central School District

This case challenges the at-large method of electing members of the East Ramapo Central School District Board of Education. The at-large system unlawfully denies black and Latino citizens in the district an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.

November 16, 2017 Voting

Abdi et al. v. Duke et al.

This case, brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union and International Refugee Assistance Project, challenges the federal government’s practice of indiscriminately denying parole and bond to arriving asylum-seekers detained at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia for the pendency

July 28, 2017 Immigrants' Rights Detention and Due Process

Millions March NYC v. NYPD

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NYPD on behalf of the activist group Millions March NYC and its organizers Vienna Rye, Arminta Jeffryes and Nabil Hassein in response to the department’s new approach -- the so-called “Glomar doctrine” -- of refusing public reco

May 23, 2017 Police Accountability

Hernandez v. State of New York

Farmworkers are excluded from the critical protection of the right to organize without fear of retaliation under New York state’s labor law, a violation of the state constitution that forces them to work in life-threatening, sweatshop-like conditions, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York

May 10, 2016 Farmworker Rights Immigrants' Rights

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