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People’s Parity Project

The People’s Parity Project (PPP) is a left-of-center legal activist organization. The group claims that the American legal system is rigged against the working class, women, and ethnic minorities. People’s Parity is made up of law students and attorneys. The organization’s staff, board of directors, and advisory council include many graduates of Harvard Law School. [1]

The Action Network, an organization which provides organizing and fundraising tools to left-of-center groups, supports People’s Parity and facilitates donations to the group. [2]

History

People’s Parity was founded in 2018 by Harvard Law School students Molly Coleman and Vail Kohnert-Yount. People’s Parity was founded to “reform the legal profession” with an emphasis on left-of-center policy implementation, specifically to oppose the right-of-center Federalist Society. [3]

In September of that year, members of the group staged a walkout over the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court following unproven allegations of sexual harassment made against him by Christine Blasey Ford. [4] People’s Parity organized a student campaign to oppose Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation on the basis of Ford’s claims, and the group claims credit for forcing Justice Kavanaugh to withdraw from teaching at Harvard Law School after his confirmation. [5] A subsequent report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was unable to find corroborating evidence to support Ford’s allegations, and two other women who had leveled similar accusations against Kavanaugh later admitted to fabricating their stories. [6][7]

Initiatives

People’s Parity supports filling vacancies on federal courts with lawyers who will implement left-of-center ideology as judges. Claiming that “the judiciary is out of step with the country,” the group calls on Democratic presidential administrations to select “progressive stars” for judicial appointments, while also prioritizing racial and gender-based identity politics when selecting appointees. [8]

People’s Parity opposes what it calls “coercive” contracts, such as those requiring employees or consumers to waive their right to sue a company and instead rely on private arbitration. People’s Parity also opposes class action lawsuit waivers, non-disclosure agreements, and non-compete clauses. The group claims that “non-competes” should be banned because they allegedly reduce an employee’s bargaining power and limit an employee’s freedom to leave a job. [9]

In August 2020, People’s Parity joined more than 120 other left-of-center activist groups in signing an open letter to the National Board of Bar Examiners, which oversees the administration of the bar exam that lawyers are required to pass in order to practice in a given jurisdiction. The letter called for the Board to suspend the administration of the bar exam during the COVID-19 health crisis, claiming that “efforts to administer the bar exam during a global pandemic” would result in “systemic unfairness.” However, People’s Parity member LiJia Gong also said that suspending the bar exam was “a small step” to address what she claimed was “a shocking lack of diversity” within the legal profession. [10]

In November 2020, People’s Parity began circulating an open letter demanding that law schools and law firms refuse to hire any lawyers connected to former President Donald Trump. The group also called on law students to refuse to work for law firms that were involved in reviewing voting procedure irregularities in the 2020 presidential election. People’s Parity also announced their intent to track and target lawyers connected to former President Trump in their careers after the Trump administration. [11]

Leadership

Molly Coleman is the co-founder and executive director of People’s Parity. She worked for a number of left-of-center legal organizations during her time at Harvard Law School and worked as the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. [12]

Emma Janger is the co-founder and board chair of People’s Parity. She worked on several pro-abortion initiatives both before and during her time at Harvard Law School. She also sat as programs director of the College Democrats of America. [13]

Sejal Singh is the board vice chair and national policy director of People’s Parity. Like Coleman, she previously worked as the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. [14]

The advisory board of People’s Parity includes Deepak Gupta and Jennifer Bennett, who are principals at the law firm Gupta Wessler LLC. The board also includes Chris Kang, who is chief counsel at Demand Justice, a left-of-center legal activist organization associated with the Arabella Advisors network of liberal “dark money” organizations. [15]

Financials

People’s Parity solicits donations through the Action Network. [16] The group has also received funding from left-of-center organizations, including Demand Justice and the Center for Popular Democracy. [17]

References

  1.              “About Us.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021.

    About

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  2.    “Help Us Unrig The Law.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021.

    Donate

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  3. Boguslaw, Daniel. “Taking On Corporate Law, in Both Parties.” The American Prospect, March 16, 2021. https://prospect.org/justice/taking-on-corporate-law-in-both-parties/. ^
  4.       Kelsey J. Griffin. “The People’s Parity Project is Trying to Change Law in America.” Harvard Crimson. May 27, 2020. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/5/27/commencement-2020-ppp/ ^
  5.        Vail Kohnert-Yount. “Introducing the People’s Parity Project.” People’s Parity Project. June 24, 2019. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.peoplesparity.org/introducing-the-peoples-parity-project/ ^
  6.             Stephen Dinan, Gabriella Muñoz. “Julie Swetnick backs off Kavanaugh allegations; former friend contacts Judiciary Committee.” Washington Times. October 2, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/2/julie-swetnick-backs-sexual-misconduct-allegations/ ^
  7.         David Choi. “’I was angry, and I sent it out’: Woman admits she fabricated a claim about writing an anonymous letter that accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.” Business Insider. November 2, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/brett-kavanaugh-sexual-assault-accuser-judy-munro-leighton-2018-11?op=1 ^
  8.        “We Must Unrig The Courts.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.peoplesparity.org/unrigthecourts/ ^
  9.        “Fighting For All To Be Free From Coercive Contracts.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.peoplesparity.org/coercivecontracts/ ^
  10.        “PPP Joins 120 Public Interest Organizations in Supporting Diploma Privilege.” People’s Parity Project. August 20, 2020. Accessed March 18, 2021.

    PPP Joins 120 Public Interest Organizations in Supporting Diploma Privilege

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  11.     “Trump Accountability Team.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021.

    Trump Accountability Team

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  12.        “Staff.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.peoplesparity.org/about/#staff ^
  13.    “Staff.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.peoplesparity.org/about/#staff ^
  14.        “Staff.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.peoplesparity.org/about/#staff ^
  15.    “Staff.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.peoplesparity.org/about/#staff ^
  16.           “Help Us Unrig The Law.” People’s Parity Project. Accessed March 18, 2021.

    Donate

    ^

  17.     Stephanie Russell-Kraft. “Meet the Four Harvard Law Grads Taking on the Entire Legal System.” New York Times. February 12, 2021. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/us/peoples-parity-project-founders.html ^
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