Center for Individual Rights

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

The Center for Individual Rights is a right wing legal organization that claims it opposes discrimination but its agenda is to oppose affirmative action and other programs that attempt to restore racial/gender/sexual equality by favoring those who have been traditionally discriminated against.[1][2]

They supported the Boy Scouts in their effort to exclude homosexuals.[3]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.


The Center for Individual Rights is a conservative U.S. law firm, in contrast to liberal groups such as the ACLU and Public Citizen. The group started in April 1989. "The founders, Michael McDonald and Michael Greve, met through their work at the Washington Legal Foundation. McDonald, an attorney, specialized in First Amendment litigation and had launched WLF's Legal Studies Division in 1987; Greve, in turn, wrote on environmental issues and assisted with WLF's fundraising."[4]

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.


  • The Center is currently involved in a case before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1964, which "prohibits certain southern jurisdictions from implementing changes in voting procedures unless they first obtain federal pre-clearance that the proposed changes do not have the purpose or effect of reducing the ability of citizens to vote on the basis of their race."[5] In July 2010, the "North Carolina State Conference of Branches of the NAACP and several Kinston, NC residents moved to intervene as defendants in LaRoque v. Holder, CIR's case challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The proposed Defendant-Intervenors seek to defend the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of Section 5, which the Justice Department used to prohibit Kinston from implementing a nonpartisan voting system favored by 63% of Kinston residents. The Proposed Defendant-intervenors argue that their interest in protecting minority voting rights will not be adequately protected by the Department of Justice and so seek to intervene as additional parties in the case."[6]
  • The Center is also representing video provocateur James O'Keefe. In March of 2011, the Center " filed a motion in federal court to strike down a California anti-tape recording statute that CIR contends violates the First Amendment. In that statute, California has made it a criminal offense for a person not affiliated with law enforcement to record his own 'confidential' conversation with any other person, unless that person consents to being recorded." Juan Carlos Vera, a former ACORN employee is suing O’Keefe for civil damages with regard to the series of videos he filmed about ACORN in 2009.[7]
  • The Center represented Anita MonCrief, former employee of ACORN's subsidiary Project Vote, in her countersuit against ACORN "for abuse of process" in ACORN's suit "for $5 million in damages" and "alleging she committed trademark infringement and other torts in connection with her blogging and emailing about the intertwined groups."[8][9] MonCrief is now a regular contributor to conservative blogs such as "Big Government, Hot Air, NetRight Daily, RedState [and] NewsReal Blog."[10] She is also "the National Spokesperson for American Majority and the Editor-in-Chief of a new website, Emerging Corruption."[11]
  • The Center litigated the affirmative action case Grutter v. Bollinger in which the Supreme Court chose to uphold affirmative action admission practices at the University of Michigan Law School in 2003.[12]
  • The Center litigated the affirmative action case Gratz v. Bollinger in which the Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the University of Michigan's Undergraduate Admissions' point system was unconstitutional.[12] Though the universities affirmative action policies were overall upheld in Grutter v. Bollinger, the Court voted against the specific process of assigning minority applicants with a default of 20 points towards their admission decision (admittance was granted at 100 points).[13]
  • In 1996, the Center's Hopwood v. Texas case nearly succeeded in severely limiting diversity programs at the University of Texas but was overturned by the Supreme Court.[12]
  • In 2001, The Center represented the sponsors of Proposition 209, a referendum which would primarily eliminate state affirmative action programs in California.[12]

A list of further cases can be found via the Center's CIR case finder.

College Campaign Against Affirmative Action

In 1999, the Center for Individual Rights began an aggressive campaign encouraging students to sue their colleges for considering racial identity in admission decisions. The Center placed advertisements in at least fifteen campus papers outlining the process and providing resources for students to investigate and charge their schools.[14]


The organization's income from contributions is over 1 million dollars a year.

The group receives most of its funding from libertarian and conservative foundations such as those run by Richard Mellon Scaife.[16]

Links Page

Their "helpful links" page links to libertarian and conservative groups such as the Federalist Society, The Institute for Justice, the Hudson Institute, the Koch-funded groups Heritage Foundation, Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and Commentary Magazine.[17]


Staff: [18]

Board of Directors: [19]



Center for Individual Rights
1233 20th Street, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-833-8400
Fax: 202-833-8410
E-mail: cir AT

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Articles


  1. Center for Individual Rights The latest news from CIR, organization website listing recent court cases, accessed May 10, 2011
  2. Center for Individual Rights Ending racial double standards, organization website, March 23, 2010, accessed May 10, 2011
  3. Center for Individual Rights Dale v. Boy Scouts of America, organization website, December 4, 2007, accessed May 10, 2011
  4. History of CIR, Center for Individual Rights, accessed November 2010.
  5. Center for Individual Rights LaRoque et al. v. Holder et al., organization website, April 13, 2010, accessed May 10, 2011
  6. Center for Individual Rights NC NAACP seeks to intervene in voting rights case, organization website, July 7, 2010, accessed May 10, 2011
  7. Center for Individual Rights James O'Keefe challenges California anti-tape recording law, organization website, March 15, 2011, accessed May 10, 2011
  8. Center for Individual Rights Lawsuit against Anita MonCrief dismissed, organization website, April 6, 2010, accessed May 10, 2011
  9. Center for Individual Rights Case dismissed, organization website, April 6, 2010, accessed May 10, 2011
  10. Andrew Breitbart Anita MonCrief, profile, accessed May 10, 2011
  11. Anita Moncrief Editorial Board, Emerging Corruption website, accessed May 10, 2011
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Brendan Fischer, For Bradley Foundation, Challenging Affirmative Action & Voting Rights Is Part of Long-Term Crusade, PR Watch, June 27, 2013.
  13. US Supreme Court Center, Gratz v. Bollinger,, 2003.
  14. Laura Flanders, Affirmative Racism, The Nation, February 18, 1999.
  15. F.M. Kirby Foundation, Foundation Center, accessed November 2010.
  16. Center for Individual Rights, Media Transparency, accessed November 2010.
  17. Links page, Center for Individual Rights, accessed May 10, 2011.
  18. Staff, Center for Individual Rights, accessed November 2010.
  19. Board of Directors, Center for Individual Rights, accessed November 2010.