The Clooney Foundation for Justice has partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to use litigation to combat hate groups and violent extremists. Through a $1 million grant, CFJ has endowed a standing legal fellowship at the SPLC to allow young lawyers to contribute to the Center’s efforts to combat hate in the United States.
The SPLC is the premier U.S. nonprofit organization seeking to counter domestic hate groups and other extremists. Our partnership with SPLC will enhance the SPLC’s ability to combat hate groups and related abuses in the United States. We will also train the future generation of public-interest lawyers by enabling them to learn from the leading litigation organization in this area.
The SPLC is one of the leading organizations using impact litigation to protect the rights of vulnerable groups. For instance, in April, 2017, the SPLC filed suit against Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, in response to a campaign of anti-Semitic messages and threats against the plaintiff, Tanya Gersh. Earlier litigation against hate groups has included: a suit against the Imperial Klans of America and four Klansmen for a savage beating, resulting in a significant finding for the victim; a suit against Aryan Nations, resulting in a $6.3 million jury verdict and requiring the Aryan Nations to turn over its compound to the victims it had terrorized; and a 1996 suit against the Christian Knights of the KKK for a fire that destroyed a 100-year-old black church.
The SPLC has also launched the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative, which provides legal representation to detained immigrants facing deportation proceedings. Recently, the SPLC filed suit against the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency (ICE) for using false pretenses to obtain entry into individuals’ homes, and then seeking to detain and deport the families within.
We will continue to update this page on the important work and litigation being conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center supported by the SPLC-CFJ Legal Fellowship we have endowed.