ADL Engages in Debate on “Stand Your Ground” Laws for the 2013 Civil Rights Policy Debate

  • October 25, 2013

ADL regions across the country weighed in this month on a resolution being considered by ADL’s National Commission opposing “Stand Your Ground” laws, as well as four Centennial resolutions designed to reaffirm several key civil rights policies of the Anti-Defamation League.

At the Mountain States Region’s Board of Directors meeting on October 16, 2013, board members and members of the Region’s Civil Rights Committee made their views known and voted on whether to recommend to the National Commission that it adopt the resolutions at the Annual Meeting held in New York October 31 – November 2, 2013.



The discussion about the Stand Your Ground resolution was spirited and divided. We thank Holly Sollod and Adam Ross for leading the debate, and Monica Rosenbluth, who moderated the discussion.

The side supporting the resolution to oppose Stand Your Ground laws focused on the perceived racial discrimination that seems almost certain to result from these measures.  There was also much discussion about the problematic abandonment of the obligation to retreat rather than to act, which has resulted in an increased number of incidents of deadly violence where the laws are in force, and the risk to members of law enforcement.

The side opposing the resolution focused on the question of whether Stand Your Ground laws ought to be considered an ADL issue.  They expressed a desire for a more detailed explanation about the civil rights aspects of such laws.

Following a lively debate, the resolution opposing Stand Your Ground laws passed narrowly by a vote of 19-17.



Four additional resolutions, intended to affirm existing cornerstone ADL policy on the occasion of the League’s 100th anniversary, were also discussed. We thank Dan McKenzie for moderating that discussion. The group voted by acclimation to accept three of the resolutions: Combating Hate While Protecting Free Speech, Ensuring Religious Freedom by Protecting the Separation of Church and State, and Equal Opportunity for All. The group voted to table the discussion concerning the fourth resolution on Striking the Balance Between Civil Liberties and National Security and to readdress the issue at a future meeting when there is more time to explore the nuanced ramifications of the resolution.