Jenner & Block was recently honored at the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago’s 17th annual “Bill of Rights in Action Awards Benefit,” for the Firm’s representation of clients incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.
Jenner & Block was among the honorees given the Bill of Rights award for “their professional commitment and community involvement,” providing, “exemplary models of citizenship for our nation’s young people.”
“These individuals understood the importance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and have acted on it to represent clients incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay,” said CRFC’s Executive Director Carolyn Pereia, at the event. “They’re role models.”
Several Jenner & Block team members were recognized for their pro bono representation of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, including Partners Gregory M. Boyle, David J. Bradford, Patricia A. Bronte, Jeffrey D. Colman, Robert L. Graham, Thomas P. Sullivan, Associates Sarah E. Crane, Matthew R. Devine, Jason J. Green, Sapna G. Lalmalani, Kyle A. Palazzolo, Eric J. Schwab, Douglas A. Sondgeroth, Wade A. Thomson, Andrew W. Vail, Shyni R. Varghese, Bilal Zaheer, Project Assistants Mary Kate Brunell, Menna Khalil, and Paralegals Kevin Doolan and Marcus Rodriguez. Mr. Colman also spoke at the event, discussing his experience visiting the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Jenner & Block attorneys continue to represent six prisoners being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba who are challenging the legality of their prolonged detention. The Firm has been increasingly active in these matters in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 12 decision in Boumediene v. Bush, in which the Court ruled that prisoners have a constitutional right to challenge their detention before a federal court. Over the past several years, 13 of the Firm’s clients who were held at the facility have been released.
The Constitutional Rights Foundation is a national leader in design and implementation of law-related and civic education programs. Students and teachers in elementary, middle and high schools work with the CRFC to assist them in discovering ways in which the democratic principles that underpin our constitutional heritage can be understood and practiced. This year, the benefit was held to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Partners Jeffrey D. Colman, Thomas P. Sullivan and Robert T. Markowski are on the CRFC Board of Directors.