|Founded at||Georgetown University|
|Legal status||501(c)(3) nonprofit|
The American Constitution Society (ACS) is a progressive legal organization. ACS was created as a counterweight to, and is modeled after, the Federalist Society, and is often described as its progressive counterpart.
Founded in 2001 following to the U.S. Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore , ACS is headquartered in Washington, D.C.The organization promotes and facilitates discussion and debate of progressive public policy ideas and issues, providing forums for legal scholars, lawmakers, judges, lawyers, public policy advocates, law students, and members of the media. ACS reports that it has approximately 200 law school student chapters and 40 lawyer chapters around the country. The group's stated mission is to "promote the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law."
The American Constitution Society was founded in 2001 by Peter Rubin, a Georgetown Law School professor who served as counsel to Al Gore in the legal battle over the 2000 election. The group was originally known as the Madison Society for Law and Policy. The organization was formed as a counterweight to the conservative Federalist Society. It was founded in order to build a network of progressive lawyers and foster new avenues of progressive legal thought.ACS received its initial funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Democracy Alliance lists ACS as a recommended funding recipient.
Members of the organization's board of directors have included David Halperin, a speechwriter in the Bill Clinton administration who also served as the organization's founding executive director from 2001 to 2003; and Eric Holder, former Attorney General of the United States.Among the organization's former board chairs is California Supreme Court Judge Goodwin Liu.
ACS hosts press and Capitol Hill briefings and public policy debates as well as an annual convention where an array of legal and public policy issues are discussed and debated.
The organization disseminates ACS Issue Briefs, the ACSBlog, a journal titled Harvard Law and Policy Review , and Advance: The Journal of the ACS Issue Groups.
In 2008, ACS's executive director, Lisa Brown, went on leave to serve on the Barack Obama transition team. She headed the president-elect's agency review team and later served as the first White House Staff Secretary in the Obama White House.
In 2009, ACS published Keeping Faith with the Constitution by Pamela S. Karlan, Goodwin Liu, and Christopher H. Schroeder. It was re-issued by Oxford University Press in 2010. The book serves as a primer for progressives interested in promoting liberal constitutionalism.
Since 2009, ACS has given an annual award to a rising star in public interest law named in memory of David Carliner. The Carliner award comes with a $10,000 prize for the winner, plus money for the winner's organization and for a finalist.
On November 14, 2018, the American Constitution Society released a letter signed by over 1,600 attorneys nationwide calling for lawmakers and Justice Department officials to protect the special counsel's Russia probe in light of Matthew Whitaker's appointment as acting attorney general.The signatories call for Whitaker to recuse himself or "otherwise be removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation as a result of his profound ethical conflicts."
The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties, whose members or supporters called themselves Federalists.
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is an American legal organization of conservatives and libertarians that advocates for a textualist and originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution. It features a student division, a lawyers division, and a faculty division. The society currently has chapters at more than 200 American law schools. The lawyers division comprises more than 70,000 practicing attorneys in ninety cities. The society is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Through speaking events, lectures, and other activities, it provides a forum for legal experts of opposing views to interact with members of the legal profession, the judiciary, and the legal academy. It is one of the United States' most influential legal organizations.
The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. Founded in 1878, the ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession. As of fiscal year 2017, the ABA had 194,000 dues-paying members, constituting approximately 14.4% of American attorneys. In 1979, half of all lawyers in the U.S. were members of the ABA. The organization's national headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois, and it also maintains a significant branch office in Washington, D.C.
Pro-Europeanism, sometimes called European Unionism, is a political position that favours European integration and membership of the European Union (EU).
Alliance for Justice (AFJ) is a progressive judicial advocacy group in the United States. Founded in 1979 by former president Nan Aron, AFJ monitors federal judicial appointments. AFJ represents a coalition of 100 politically leftist groups that have an interest in the federal judiciary. The Alliance for Justice presents a modern liberal viewpoint on legal issues.
The Antonin Scalia Law School–George Mason University is the law school of George Mason University, a public research university in Virginia. It is located in Arlington, Virginia, roughly 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Washington, D.C., and 15 miles (24 km) east-northeast of George Mason University's main campus in Fairfax, Virginia.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is an American criminal defense organization.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, formerly called the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, is an umbrella group of American civil rights interest groups.
The Democracy Alliance is a network of progressive donors who coordinate their political donations to groups that the Alliance has endorsed. It has been described by Politico as "the country's most powerful liberal donor club."
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a nonprofit law and public policy institute. The organization is named after Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Generally considered liberal, the Brennan Center advocates for a number of progressive public policy positions, including raising the minimum wage, opposing voter ID laws, and calling for public funding of elections. The organization opposed the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, which held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by nonprofits.
Community Change, formerly the Center for Community Change (CCC), is a progressive community organizing group active in the United States. It was founded in 1968 in response to civil rights concerns of the 1960s and to honor Robert F. Kennedy. The organization's stated mission is "to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better."
Elizabeth Merrill "Lisa" Brown is an American lawyer who is the current General Counsel of the United States Department of Education. She previously served as the first White House Staff Secretary in the Obama administration, assuming that post on January 20, 2009. Earlier, during the 2008–2009 presidential transition, she served as Co-Chair of Agency Review. Prior to joining the Obama Transition Team, she served as Executive Director of the American Constitution Society, a progressive legal organization.
Goodwin Hon Liu is an American lawyer, educator and an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California. Before his appointment by California Governor Jerry Brown, Liu was Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Liu has been recognized for his writing on constitutional law, education policy, civil rights, and the Supreme Court.
The Harvard Law & Policy Review is a law journal and the official journal of the American Constitution Society, a progressive legal organization. It was established in 2007. The journal publishes two printed editions per year, as well as additional content posted exclusively online. It is edited by Harvard Law School students and typically has a staff of approximately 75 students. The journal publishes articles presenting progressive ideas for law and policy written by legal scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and students.
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is a progressive nonprofit watchdog and advocacy organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. CMD publishes ExposedbyCMD.org, SourceWatch.org, and ALECexposed.org.
Penn State Law, located in University Park, Pennsylvania, is one of two separately accredited law schools of the Pennsylvania State University. Penn State Law offers J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D. degrees. The school also offers a joint J.D./M.B.A. with the Smeal College of Business, a joint J.D./M.I.A. degree with the School of International Affairs, which is also located in the Lewis Katz Building, as well as joint degrees with other graduate programs at Penn State.
The New Israel Fund (NIF) is a United States-based non-profit organization established in 1979. It describes its objective as social justice and equality for all Israelis. The New Israel Fund says it has provided $300 million to over 900 Israeli civil society organizations that it describes as "cutting-edge." It describes itself as active on the issues of civil and human rights, women's rights, religious status, human rights for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories, the rights of Israel's Arab minority, and freedom of speech. The New Israel Fund is the largest foreign donor to progressive causes in Israel.
Jose Luis Martin Cosgayon Gascon, also known as Chito Gascon, was a Filipino lawyer, civil organizer, and human-rights activist. In 2015, he was appointed by then President Benigno S. Aquino III as the Chair of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines serving a term from 2015-2021.
David Carliner was an immigration, civil liberties, and civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. Among the earliest practitioners of American immigration and naturalization law, he was an early combatant of anti-miscegenation laws, challenged the segregation of public accommodations, and fought for the rights of sexual minorities to enter the country and have full employment rights in the federal government. Carliner was chair of the District of Columbia Home Rule Committee and was responsible for the first modern home rule reforms in 1967. He served as the general counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union (1976–79); helped to found the ACLU's National Capital Area chapter and Global Rights ; and served on the boards of the ACLU (1965–83), the American Jewish Committee (1969–71), and a variety of other organizations. He was the author of the ACLU's 1977 handbook on immigrants' rights and a coauthor of its 1990 revision.
Carrie Campbell Severino is an American lawyer and conservative political activist. She is the head of the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), where she has played a leading role in the campaigns to support the Supreme Court nominations of Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. She is the coauthor of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.