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Bill Quigley
Bill Quigley is a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans. He is also Associate Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights. He has been an active public interest lawyer since 1977. Bill has served as counsel with a wide range of public interest organizations on issues including Katrina social justice issues, public housing, voting rights, death penalty, living wage, civil liberties, educational reform, constitutional rights and civil disobedience. Bill has litigated numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and with the ACLU of Louisiana, for which he served as General Counsel for over 15 years. Bill received the 2006 Camille Gravel Civil Pro Bono Award from the Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter. Bill received the 2006 Stanford Law School National Public Service Award and the 2006 National Lawyers Guild Ernie Goodman award. He has also been an active volunteer lawyer with School of the Americas Watch and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Bill is the author of Ending Poverty As We Know It: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job At A Living Wage (2003) and Storms Still Raging: Katrina, New Orleans and Social Justice (2008). In 2003, he was named the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA and is the recipient of the 2004 SALT Teaching Award presented by the Society of American Law Teachers.

Entries by Bill Quigley

Louisiana Number One in Incarceration

(6) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 1:22 PM

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Louisiana remained number 1, among the 50 states, with 38,030 in prison, a rate of 816 per 100,000 over 100 points ahead of next highest state Oklahoma. Because the US leads the world in incarcerating its people, this...

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Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 11:13 AM

Law was Chris Williams' third career. He taught school in Chicago for a decade. He was a union organizer for a decade. Only then did he become a social justice lawyer specializing in advocating for and with low-wage workers.

Chris grew up in St. Louis and moved to Chicago after...

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No Lawyers? No Jail. Judge Demands Constitution Be Respected in Louisiana Public Defender Catastrophe

(16) Comments | Posted April 9, 2016 | 10:59 AM


New Orleans Criminal Court Judge Arthur Hunter, a former police officer, ruled that seven people awaiting trial in jail without adequate legal defense must be released. The law is clear. The US Supreme Court, in their 1963 case

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Katrina, Climate Justice and Fish Dinners: Social Justice Lawyer Colette Pichon Battle

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 12:09 PM


Colette Pichon Battle gave up a great job working as a corporate immigration lawyer in Washington DC to live in a tent in front of her flooded family home 50 miles from downtown New Orleans. She is now a much honored director of...

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Texas Mothers Jailed 5 Days in Louisiana Over 2 Hot Dogs

(258) Comments | Posted March 24, 2016 | 9:38 AM

Two Texas mothers, who police said had no criminal record, spent five days in a notorious Louisiana jail over charges they ate two hot dogs, milkshakes and an Icee at a convenience store. The women were ordered held on $1,500 bond each despite the fact they had just voluntarily driven...

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Reverse Robin Hood: Six Billion Dollar Businesses Preying on Poor People

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2016 | 8:32 AM

Many see families in poverty and seek to help. Others see families in poverty and see opportunities for profit.

Here are six examples of billion dollar industries which are built on separating poor people, especially people of color, from their money, the reverse Robin Hood.


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From Tijuana to Harvard to Compton to UCLA Law: The Journey of Social Justice Lawyer Luz Herrera

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2016 | 10:06 AM


Luz Herrera, social justice lawyer and UCLA law professor, was born in Tijuana to Mexican parents and grew up in the Latino neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Not only the first lawyer in her family, she is the...

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Public Defender Meltdown in Louisiana

(9) Comments | Posted February 25, 2016 | 12:52 PM


Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rate in the country, no longer provides public defenders to all its people accused of crimes; within months over half its public defender offices are expected to become insolvent.

"It's a nightmare," according to James...

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Water Resistance Trial Underway in Detroit

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 1:03 PM


A jury trial is underway in Detroit for human rights activists arrested for blocking trucks which were going to cutoff water to low-income families.

On July 18, 2014, dozens of people successfully blocked the trucks of the Homrich Inc., a...

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Ten Troubling Labor Day Stats 2015

(30) Comments | Posted September 6, 2015 | 10:13 AM


5.1. The official unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, or 8 million people, according to the US Department of Labor. However, this widely reported "official" number overlooks the millions of people unemployed for more than a year, nor does it count...

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Debtors Prisons Alive and Well in Louisiana

(46) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 11:03 AM


Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has said it is unconstitutional, Louisiana still puts hundreds of people in prison every year just because they are too poor to pay court-ordered fines, court costs and costs of probation, according to a recent...

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New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at 10: Who Was Left Behind

(22) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 8:45 AM

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have been left behind again. The population of New Orleans is noticeably...

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15 Most Outrageous Police Responses After Killing Unarmed People

(23) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 8:28 AM

Police kill a lot of unarmed people. So far in 2015, as many as 100 unarmed people have been killed by police. Here are fifteen of the most outrageous reasons given by police to justify killing unarmed people in the last twelve months.

First, a bit of background. So...

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40 Reasons Why Our Jails Are Full of Black and Poor People

(589) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 10:17 AM

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports 2.2 million people are in our nation's jails and prisons and another 4.5 million people are on probation or parole in the U.S., totaling 6.8 million people, one of every 35 adults. We are far and away the world leader in...

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Memorial Day: Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War?

(9) Comments | Posted May 24, 2015 | 10:05 PM


Memorial Day is, by federal law, a day of prayer for permanent peace. But is it possible to honestly pray for peace while our country is far and away number one in the world in waging war, military presence, military spending...

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Dear God, Please Just Say No to Governor Jindal

(51) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 2:38 PM

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal yesterday announced he is praying over his decision whether to run for president. Yesterday, Jindal also issued an executive order supporting discrimination against marriages by Louisiana gay and lesbian citizens, minutes after a similar bill was overwhelmingly rejected by the Louisiana legislature....

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Scalia and Alito: Have You No Sense of Decency, Sirs?

(1651) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 9:17 AM

In the 1940s and 1950s, countless people in the US were being bullied and brutalized by the anti-communist scare tactics and character assassinations of Senator Joseph McCarthy. The end of the McCarthy red-baiting era began when Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy after he attacked a young lawyer...

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10 Shocking Facts About Baltimore

(153) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 2:17 PM

Were you shocked at the disruption in Baltimore? What is more shocking is daily life in Baltimore, a city of 622,000 people, 63 percent of whom are African-American. Here are 10 numbers that tell some of the story.

5.6 Blacks in Baltimore are more than 5.6...

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Taste the Boiling Rage

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 12:36 PM

KILLING TRAYVONS: An Anthology of American Violence. Edited by Kevin Alexander Gray, Jeffrey St. Clair and JoAnn Wypijewski. (Counterpunch Books 2014).

Do you know people who are surprised that more black men were killed by police in 2014 than died in the September 11, 2001...

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A Christian Apology to Jewish People at Passover and Easter

(423) Comments | Posted April 4, 2015 | 10:57 AM

As a lifelong Christian, I apologize to my Jewish friends and to all Jewish people on Passover. Our organized Christian religions have built many of our most beautiful ceremonies and beliefs upon the foundation of our Jewish leader Jesus and upon principles of Judaism and your scriptures. Yet we have...

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