Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Professor Margo Schlanger has worked to create a massive database of original court documents in a number of different civil rights subject areas. One of the areas is immigration. Prof. Schlanger's description of the database is as follows:
“The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse is a web-based repository of information and documents relating to civil rights cases, particularly injunctive and class-action cases. Our newest category of litigation is immigration. We are launching this new collection with 285 cases and about 1800 documents incorporated in the publicly available site (at http://clearinghouse.wustl.edu). The collection focuses on relatively recent immigration class action cases, as well as cases involving large numbers of plaintiffs that are not, technically, class cases. These range widely: we include, for example, suits about conditions of confinement in immigration detention; suits about civil rights violations at workplace immigration enforcement raids; suits alleging RICO violations by employers of undocumented workers, etc. Our sources include AILA, the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project, and many other organizations and lawyers. Jill Family, who teaches immigration law at Widener, was particularly helpful. As with all our cases, for each case included, we provide any available opinions, and also key court documents -- the complaint, any decree, and the docket sheet, and sometimes other documents as well. The cases are then indexed (by court, issue, etc.) and summarized.
“All this is publicly available for free, at http://clearinghouse.wustl.edu. You can search, save documents and searches, and subscribe for updates. And there's an easy form to use to suggest new cases or provide missing documents. We plan to maintain and grow this part of the Clearinghouse collection.”
Professor Schlanger teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.