In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Civil Rights Corps is fighting to protect the independence of public defenders who provide counsel to poor people in the legal system. Our first amendment case in federal court alleges that our client Keisha Hudson, former Montgomery County Deputy Chief Public Defender, was fired for arguing against the state's money bail practices.
In early February, Hudson filed an amicus brief in a case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court challenging the County’s money bail practices. She argued that the County’s system of jailing thousands of people before trial just because they’re poor violated the law, and that it disrupted thousands of lives.
Throughout the country, defense attorneys are silenced, threatened, and retaliated against for doing what they can to challenge systemic injustice in the criminal system. We brought this challenge with Hudson to vindicate her First Amendment rights, but more importantly to protect her ability--and other courageous public defenders' ability--to speak out about and to fight back against unconstitutional systems of oppression.