CRT Biweekly Newsletter January 22 2016

  • Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta met with the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and discussed the Division’s efforts to combat racial discrimination, ensure equal justice, and defend equal opportunity across a wide range of areas.
     
  • A former deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Huntsville, Alabama pleaded guilty to lying under oath to obstruct a federal investigation into the beating of a local handyman.
     
  • A Virginia man was charged with a federal hate crime under the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act for assaulting a victim because of the victim’s actual and perceived sexual orientation.
     
  • We reached a settlement with Evolve Bank & Trust to resolve allegations that the bank engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against mortgage loan applicants who receive disability income.  Under the terms of the settlement, Evolve has agreed to maintain revised policies, conduct employee training, and establish a settlement fund of $86,000 to compensate affected borrowers.
     
  • The Seventh Circuit heard oral argument in Midwest Fence Corporation v. United States Department of Transportation, et al.  The case involves a lawsuit challenging a government transportation contracting program that seeks to create equal opportunity in competition for federally-funded highway, transit, and airport projects.  We argued that the program satisfies a constitutional requirement known as “strict scrutiny” because it uses race and gender-conscious criteria in a limited or “narrowly tailored” fashion to remedy the effects of discrimination against racial minorities and women competing for federally-funded contracts.
Updated December 28, 2016

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