Board Votes to Ban U. of North Carolina Civil-Rights Center From Litigating Cases

The University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors voted on Friday to ban the UNC Law School’s Center for Civil Rights from litigating cases, the Associated Press reports.

The center performs legal work for minority and low-income groups, and has handled cases involving school desegregation and environmental justice.

Carol L. Folt, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote a letter in July to the board expressing support for the center’s litigation. Board members who supported the ban said that allowing the center to sue other state entities conflicts with the university’s academic mission.

Those board members also said that their vote did not suggest a lack of commitment to civil rights; they pointed out that other legal clinics already take on similar cases. Leaders of the civil-rights center said they were not sure what role it would assume in the future. The board’s vote allows the center to remain open but blocks its lawyers from conducting litigation.

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