Associate Tiffany Wright Featured in Reuters for Racial Justice Amicus Effort for Civil Rights Groups

August.05.2020

Reuters featured associate Tiffany Wright in this story highlighting her amicus arguments in a California appeals court documenting the racial injustice of striking jurors based on their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The article details how former Orrick associate Easha Anand, who recently joined the MacArthur Justice Center as Supreme Court and Appellate counsel, enlisted Tiffany to draft the brief on behalf of MacArthur, the American Civil Liberties Union, California’s public defender and other civil rights groups. Tiffany, a member of our Supreme Court and Appellate practice, told Reuters she felt an obligation to take on the initiative.

“It was personal to me,” Tiffany told the publication “I feel so strongly about diversity in appellate practice. If you don’t have it, those perceptions are lost.”

The article noted Tiffany’s background, including the fact she was the only black law clerk during her term at the U.S. Supreme Court. The amicus brief argues that a 2016 trial of three defendants for a double murder was marred by striking a prospective juror questioned about Black Lives Matter, saying “striking a prospective juror for supporting Black Lives Matter is tantamount to striking a Black juror for believing in her own dignity and humanity – a prospect white Americans do not encounter.”

“This moment gives me a little hope,” said Wright. “Maybe this case puts a red flag in prosecutors’ minds: ‘You just don’t want to go there … I don’t want to have to write this brief again.”

Orrick associates Elizabeth Cruikshank and Sarah Sloan also worked on the amicus effort, supervised by partner Danny Rubens.

The amicus brief can be read here.