Blog of Rights

Larry
Schwartztol

Larry Schwartztol is a Staff Attorney in the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program.  He focuses primarily on litigation and advocacy at the intersection and racial and economic justice, mainly in the area of housing and lending.  He also works on litigation challenging aspects of the school-to-prison pipeline – policies and practices that expose students, disproportionately students of color, to the criminal justice system.  Previously, Larry was a staff attorney in the ACLU’s National Security Project, where he litigated cases involving foreign intelligence surveillance, ideological exclusion of foreign scholars, and the government’s search authority at airports and the U.S. border.  Before that, Larry litigated school equity cases as a Karpatkin Fellow in the Racial Justice Program and worked on voting rights issues as a Liman Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.  He clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Larry graduated from Yale Law School and received his B.A. from the University of Chicago.

From the Fair Housing Act to Ferguson: Where You Live Impacts How You're Policed

From the Fair Housing Act to Ferguson: Where You Live Impacts How You're Policed

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:08pm
In less than 24 hours, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will define the future of decades-old legal protections against discrimination by landlords and banks against renters and homebuyers. The decision could have far-reaching consequences for the battle against housing policies that discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability, and other protected characteristics. And that, in turn, would have profound implications for efforts to ensure fair and unbiased policing in places like Ferguson and New York City and throughout the country.

Predatory Lending: Wall Street Profited, Minority Families Paid the Price

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:35pm

The editorial page of the New York Times recently weighed in on an important but underappreciated aspect of the financial crisis: The systematic targeting of communities of color for risky and unfair loans. As the Times put it:

Pricing discrimination…
Cop Breaks a Kid's Arm and Tasers Him. His Offense? Saggy Pants.

Cop Breaks a Kid's Arm and Tasers Him. His Offense? Saggy Pants.

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 5:13pm

Derby, Kansas, high school sophomore Jonathan Villarreal was walking to the bus after school when a police officer ordered him to pull his pants up above his hips. Jonathan refused, on the grounds that the school day was over. As reported in the…

Holding Wall Street Accountable: ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices

Holding Wall Street Accountable: ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:18am

The economic crisis of 2008, which was devastating for the nation’s economy as a whole, was nothing short of disastrous for communities of color. Much of the decades of progress toward full inclusion in the American dream which was ushered…

An important step towards holding Wall Street accountable

An important step towards holding Wall Street accountable

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 5:14pm

In a historic ruling, today a judge gave us the green light to move forward with a case alleging that Morgan Stanley discriminated against black homeowners in the Detroit area in violation of the Fair Housing Act ("FHA").

"Morgan Stanley—as…

The Economic Crisis Isn't Colorblind

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 9:51am

As the presidential election season heats up, the candidates will clash over how the country should climb back from the 2008 economic slump.

Surveillance Gone Amok

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:29pm

In pushing for ever-expanding and unaccountable surveillance authority, the Bush Administration has assured the public that it aims its spying capabilities at serious security threats. But as two government whistleblowers recently revealed to ABC News, surveillance programs touted as critical to protect national security have in fact been used to monitor the private communications of innocent Americans abroad, including humanitarian workers and U.S. service-members. While disturbing, ABC's report confirms a core contention of the ACLU's lawsuit challenging Congress's recent expansion of governmental spying powers: unchecked surveillance authority invades the privacy of innocent Americans, and in doing so, fundamentally undermines the efforts of human rights workers, journalists, and attorneys doing important work around the globe.

Two former military intercept operators — the people who actually intercept, monitor, and collect international telephone and email communications — told ABC News that "hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home." The operators worked for the National Security Agency ("NSA"), the spy agency chiefly responsible for international surveillance. They report that NSA routinely listened in on the innocent, and sometimes intimate, conversations of Americans abroad. There were apparently no effective procedures in place to filter out these kinds of communications.

Wiretapping Excesses: A Tale Foretold

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:29pm

(Originally posted on the ACSBlog.)

Last week the New York Times broke a story that came as no surprise: when armed with expansive dragnet surveillance authority that lacks meaningful safeguards, the government will intercept huge numbers…

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