Nicole Austin-Hillery

Nicole Austin-Hillery is Director and Counsel of the Washington, D.C. Office of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she works to advance voting rights, criminal justice reform, indigent defense, campaign finance reform, and other efforts to improve systems of democracy and justice.

Recent Articles

Starving Civil Rights In the Trump Era

Donald Trump is poised to defund the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and his Supreme Court pick bodes poorly for the future of civil rights.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP Images President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, arrives in the Capitol flanked by former Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Vice President Mike Pence as they head to their meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. F ederal civil rights protections that expanded significantly under President Obama have been dealt a body blow just two weeks into the Trump administration. The Justice Department faces draconian cuts to programs that ensure the safety of women, guarantee equal rights to members of the LGBTQ community, and that investigate police departments with a history of abusing and discriminating against African Americans. And Trump’s selection of Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court is a bad omen for civil rights. At the Justice Department, several critical civil rights programs are on the chopping block. These include 25 grants that underwrite the Violence Against Women Program, and the...