The Second Circuit and Social Justice
40 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2017
Date Written: 2016
The Second Circuit is renowned for its landmark rulings in fields such as white collar crime and securities law — bread and butter issues growing out of Wall Street’s preeminence in the financial landscape of the nation. At the same time, the Second Circuit has a long tradition of breaking new ground on issues of social justice. Unlike some circuit courts which have reputations in the area of social justice built around one or two fields, such as the Fifth Circuit’s pioneering role in civil rights litigation or the Ninth Circuit’s focus on immigration, there is no one area of social justice litigation that could be considered the Second Circuit’s signature issue. Instead, it has issued key decisions and established important lines of cases in a wide range of subjects. This paper, commissioned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on the 125th Anniversary of the Court, explores four areas of law as illustrations of the Second Circuit’s jurisprudence in dealing with claims of marginalized and subordinated individuals and groups.
Keywords: Second Circuit, Social Justice, Disability, Prisoners' Rights, Employment Discrimination, Public Benefits
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