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Journal of Law and Inequality Symposium to Celebrate Civil Rights Act's 50th Anniversary

SEPTEMBER 26, 2013—The University of Minnesota Law School's Journal of Law and Inequality will host its annual symposium, "Civil Rights and Civil Justice: 50 Years Later," from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on October 18, 2013, in Lockhart Hall (Room 25).

The magnitude and legacy of the United States' Civil Rights Movement and the culminating events of 1963-64 mark an unprecedented arc in the fulfillment of constitutional ideals. This academic year celebrates the 50th anniversary of that period's pivotal events, including the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Gideon v. Wainright, Dr. King's tide-changing "Letter from Birmingham Jail" following his arrest in Alabama, the March on Washington, the 1964 signing of the Civil Rights Act—our nation's most sweeping civil rights legislation to date—and the abolition of the "poll tax," through the passage of the 24th Amendment.

This anniversary also reminds us of a time when the rule of law continually met resistance, and unspeakable tragedies unfolded, such as when Birmingham's Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor ordered police dogs and fire hoses to be used on peaceful protestors—many of them children; the assassination of the 37-year-old civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, in front of his home; the hung juries that set Byron De La Beckwith, his murderer, free for nearly 30 years; and the tragic deaths of four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collens) as they prepared for Sunday school at their church.

The Journal of Law & Inequality honors the fight for the rule of law with a symposium dedicated to examining the legacy of this nation's Civil Rights Movement. This anniversary compels us to explore the implications of these events and examine Civil Rights gains in the wake of claims that America is progressing toward a post-racial society. We honor Vice President Walter F. Mondale (’56), who 50 years ago, as the young attorney general for the state of Minnesota, spearheaded the landmark amicus brief that helped to win indigent criminal defendants the right to counsel. The symposium addresses civil rights across a spectrum, including the LGBT movement, immigration reform, race relations, women's rights and more.

Further details and registration information can be found online at the following location: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1263437.