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McNeal v. Tucker

Illinois requires that all prisoners be offered the chance to participate in a peer lead civics education class during the six months prior to their release. UPLC represents a person in prison who was leading the civics class at Centralia. He was discussing the racist use of poll taxes and literacy tests in the 1940s through the 1960s to suppress the Black vote. The staff person monitoring the class interrupted and ordered him not to discuss racism, and insisted that the purpose of these tests was to ensure that voters knew what they were voting for. When Mr. McNeal refused, he was written a disciplinary report, fired from his job as a teacher, and barred from holding any other job at Centralia.


UPLC filed suit alleging violations of the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause


Attorneys: Alan Mills, Nicole Schult, and Emily Hirsch (Uptown People's Law Center)

Date Filed: February 29, 2024

Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Status: Active

Case Number: 3:24-cv-619-


  • Access to Justice
  • Susan Crown
  • Alvin H Baum Family Fund
  • kirkland & Ellis
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