Civil Rights + Immigration

Supreme Court panel pulls opinion that barred discipline for race-based jury challenges

BY: - January 14, 2022

A New Jersey Supreme Court advisory panel has withdrawn a 24-year-old opinion that allowed attorneys to challenge jurors on the basis of their race during jury selection. The Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, an 18-member body appointed by the Supreme Court, found the 1998 opinion directly conflicts with provisions of the rules of professional conduct […]

Senator will reintroduce bill to create Department of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

BY: - January 14, 2022

A New Jersey state senator wants to combine the state’s efforts to increase diversity across state agencies and businesses into a single department. Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) intends to reintroduce a measure to create a Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that was introduced — but not advanced — in the final days of the […]

Five more correctional officers charged in inmate assaults at women’s prison

BY: - December 16, 2021

Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck announced criminal charges Wednesday against four senior correctional police officers and the administrator who was in charge of the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women on the night last January when the officers allegedly severely beat and injured several inmates. The new charges bring to 15 the total number of […]

Democratic governors press U.S. Senate to act on voting rights legislation

BY: - December 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and 16 other Democratic governors are urging the U.S. Senate to pass two bills that aim to protect voting rights. Both measures need 60 votes to advance under Senate rules but have been stalled by Republican opposition in the evenly divided Senate. “Without decisive action by the federal government […]

Supporters demand action on bill to end discriminatory car insurance rates

BY: - December 15, 2021

A coalition of business leaders, racial justice groups, and consumer advocates are calling on the New Jersey Assembly and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to advance a bill intended to root out racism in auto insurance rates. The Fair Auto Insurance Rates Act would prohibit insurers from using factors like education, occupation, credit score, marital status, and homeownership status in setting car insurance […]

Nine-bill gun-safety package advances in Assembly

BY: - December 14, 2021

A package of bills intended to strengthen the state’s gun laws advanced in the New Jersey Assembly on Monday, including one that would punish gun owners for not locking away their firearms and ammunition separately and another that would allow the state Attorney General to pursue public nuisance violations against gun dealers and manufacturers. The […]

Protesters descend on Trenton to rally support for progressive bills

BY: and - December 3, 2021

More than 100 activists converged on the Statehouse in Trenton Thursday to rally for causes that were decades, and even centuries, in the making. Reparations for slavery. Protections to preserve abortion rights. Reforms to hold police accountable for brutality. School curriculum that reflects communities’ diversity. They’ve rallied before, countless times, in a crusade for change […]

Bipartisan bills aim to protect victims of human trafficking

BY: - November 30, 2021

Two state lawmakers from Monmouth County have introduced four bills to strengthen protections for human trafficking victims in New Jersey. The bills introduced by Sen. Vin Gopal, a Democrat, and Republican Assemblyman Ronald Dancer would: Eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecuting human trafficking crimes (current law requires prosecutors to bring charges within five years of […]

Appellate court upholds public’s rights in police search warrant case

BY: - November 4, 2021

Even if police officers have a search warrant, they cannot use evidence obtained during the search if they violate a requirement that they first knock and announce themselves, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Wednesday. Such behavior violates the constitutional rights of citizens to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, and police shouldn’t “profit” […]

In Jersey City, frustration flares up over a controversial affordable housing program

BY: - October 29, 2021

Luisa Reyes Mantilla was a young single mother in 1994 when she spotted an advertisement for low-income, first-time homebuyers in Jersey City. To qualify, you had to have good credit, a few thousand dollars in the bank, and a willingness to rent the other half of your duplex to someone similarly in need. She called […]

Advocates call for releases of migrants detained in Bergen County Jail

BY: - October 28, 2021

Jean Ismael Bien Aime Nicolas sits in the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, where he’s been held since 2018. Some time in the next few days, he’ll likely be transferred to a facility hundreds of miles away as the jail begins depopulating migrant detainees. The Haitian man said he expects his case will be reviewed […]

Reformers call for end to discriminatory pricing in N.J. car insurance

BY: - October 27, 2021

Most drivers might assume their car insurance rates are based on their driving history and safety record. Instead, many insurers use education, occupation, and consumer credit scores to determine rates, charging higher premiums for those least likely to afford them: poor and minority drivers. But a bill now before the Legislature could provide relief. The […]