NYCLA Statement on the 9th Circuit Ruling that Arizona Department of
Correction’s policy and practice of inspecting inmates’ outgoing legal mail
violated the Sixth and First Amendment.
May 31, 2017 – New York, New York. NYCLA President Michael J. McNamara issued a statement today on the 9th Circuit ruling in favor of Mr. Nordstrom’s claim that prison officials may not read or skim legal mail between prisoners and their counsel. The New York County Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as amicus curiae, filed a brief [include hyperlink to the original brief posted] in June 2016 that challenged the constitutionality of an Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) policy that impacts the rights of inmates and their properly marked outgoing legal mail. Counsel for Mr. Nordstrom, Prof. Gregory Sisk of the University of St. Thomas School of Law and his clinic students, won all argued points on both standing and merits and on both pt amendment free speech and 6th amendment right to effective assistance of counsel grounds, and the Court confirmed that Mr. Nordstrom is entitled to injunctive relief-the case is remanded to the district court to craft the injunctive decree.
“Professor Sisk personally reached out to NYCLA Member Elliot Shields, Co-Chair, Civil Rights & Liberties Committee and NYCLA General Counsel Anthe M. Vorkas to thank them and the other amici for their tireless efforts in supporting Mr. Nordstrom’s case and also expressed thanks on behalf of Mr. Nordstrom as well. Today we are celebrating this win” said Michael J. McNamara.
The opinion may be found here:
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The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
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