Civil Rights

At the midway point since issuing its quadrennial Hispanic Public Policy Agenda in 2008, the NHLA assessed the progress made thus far in addressing the major public policy issues facing the Hispanic community nationally across six broad issue areas. Below is the Executive Summary regarding civil rights. Click here to download the full report.

Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Department of Justice has vigorously pursued a number of hate crimes cases, including those perpetrated against Latinos, such as the one that resulted in the death of Luis Ramirez.

The Justice Department’s renewed commitment to Civil Rights enforcement is also evident in its enforcement of voting rights, where it has pursued a number of cases.

President Obama has taken steps to nominate independent, fair-minded judges who appreciate the role of the courts as often being the forum of last resort for protecting the civil rights of vulnerable populations. However, the pace of nominations has been slow, and during the 111th Congress, the Senate had a poor record of confirming nominees in a timely fashion.