Throughout history, public litigation groups have had their missions tested in times of tension. In the 1940s, many civil rights groups turned a blind eye to Japanese internment in an attempt to preserve favor with the Roosevelt administration. In the 1950s, many were tested in their responses to the Second Red Scare. Organizations consistently make strategic choices about which cases will play best to the media, and which to ignore out of fear of hurting the cause. These decisions involve moral and ethical questions that historians and modern legal scholars have tried to answer by looking at the mistakes of the past.
Join the Harvard ACLU and Professor Michael Klarman for a look back at some of the most notable failures and intentional misses of civil rights groups throughout history, how those decisions came to be made, and what can be done to avoid them in the future. Food will be served.