More of This How 7 progressive women ran for office and won
When Christy Craig started working at the public defender’s office in Clark County, Nevada, in 1998, she didn’t plan to ever run for judge. “I knew that was my gig,” Craig said. “I couldn’t have been happier to be there.” Since then, Craig has represented thousands of defendants and scored landmark wins in suits against the State on issues of correctional mental health and cash bail.
But soon Craig will be leaving the public defender’s office to become a judge on the Eighth Judicial District Court, the criminal and civil court of Clark County, which includes the Las Vegas metro area.
It was a colleague who gave her the idea to seek election last January. “I was sitting in my office and I was complaining about the bench,” Craig said. Suddenly Belinda Harris, a public defender who had already announced her candidacy for a judgeship, shouted from her office: “Well, shut up and run!”
So Craig entered the race and won on Nov. 3—alongside Harris and five other public defenders.
These seven public defenders, all women, many women of color, are now set to become judges in January. Harris is heading to the North Las Vegas Justice Court; the others were elected to the Eighth Judicial District Court, despite many being significantly outraised by their opponents.
Read the story on The Appeal
Speaking Of… Mass incarceration began with slavery
Featuring Jamila Hodge from the Vera Institute and Sam Hodge from ARC
Less of This The people who don’t want LA’s new progressive prosecutor to succeed
On his first day in office, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón announced sweeping changes that he promised would dramatically alter how justice is delivered in the county.
But in the week since his heady proclamations, Gascón’s reform plans have been met with resistance from judges, his own prosecutors and crime victims, who are challenging both the ethics of his vision and whether he has the authority to carry out one of its main components.
That Gascón has run into pushback comes as no surprise, as a clash between his progressive agenda and more traditional law enforcement strategies seemed inevitable. But the friction has heated up with startling speed and intensity, affording the district attorney no honeymoon period as he tries to reimagine how an office that files more than 100,000 criminal cases each year carries out its mission.
Gascón has succeeded in quickly locking in several significant policy changes, including barring prosecutors from seeking the death penalty or trying juveniles as adults. And defendants facing a number of misdemeanor crimes can now avoid prosecution by enrolling in diversion programs. Starting in January, prosecutors will no longer be allowed to seek cash bail.
Read the story on LA Times
Say it Louder The pioneering lawyer who fought for women’s suffrage
In the US, it has been 100 years since women cast their votes for the first time. A century ago in the United Kingdom, the first female law students were admitted to the Inns of Court.
At Lincoln's Inn in London, one of those students, Mithan Lam, was an Indian. In 1924, she became the first woman to be allowed to practise law in the Bombay High Court, shattering one of the thickest glass ceilings for professional women in the country.
But Lam's influence extended well beyond the bar: she left an indelible stamp on the female suffragist movement and the struggle for gender equality in India.
Lam was born in 1898 into a wealthy and progressive Parsi family. While on a holiday in Kashmir in 1911, she and her mother, Herabai Tata, had a chance meeting with Sophia Duleep Singh, an ardent feminist and suffragist in Britain.
Intrigued by a colourful badge Singh wore proclaiming "Votes for Women," Lam and Tata were quickly drawn into the cause of Indian female suffrage.
Suffrage was a contentious issue amongst nationalists in colonial India: should women's enfranchisement be prioritised over Indian independence?
Lam saw no contradiction between the two demands, branding men's reservations against women's voting rights as "soap-bubble material". "Men say 'Home Rule is our birthright'," Tata stated in 1918, echoing a famous nationalist slogan. "We say the right to vote is our birthright, and we want it.”
Read the story on BCC
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Judicial Externship Program for Latinx People
The program was started to address the critical need of increasing the number of Latino/as exposed to federal practice, but importantly to provide Latino/a students an opportunity that many would not otherwise have in the competitive environment of federal judicial externships. Learn more here
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Calling all BIPOC judges: can you open the door to others?
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