Center for Constitutional Rights
The Center for Constitutional Rights is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the U.S., CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.
CCR uses litigation to advance the law in a positive direction, to empower poor communities and communities of color, to guarantee the rights of those with the fewest protections and least access to legal resources, to train the next generation of constitutional and human rights attorneys, and to strengthen the movement for constitutional and human rights.
CCR accepts cases and projects based on principle and the value of the struggle itself, not by using a calculus of victory. CCR has worked on some cases for decades, standing by their causes and clients until success was achieved.
CCR works on a wide range of issues:
Illegal Detentions and Guantanamo Since 2001, the government has illegally detained thousands of people, the most recognized example being the men at Guantánamo. CCR has fought for the right to due process, filing countless cases on behalf of detainees and others swept up in the so-called War on Terror.
Surveillance and Attacks on Dissent CCR represents demonstrators who have been wrongfully arrested and movements that have been infiltrated and spied on. For decades, the U.S. government has engaged in unlawful surveillance and attempted to expand Executive powers to monitor and intimidate activists, from the Black Panthers in the 1960’s and 70’s to the Central America Solidarity Movement in the 80’s to administration critics today.
Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration Since its inception in the 1960’s, when CCR attorneys defended protestors at the Chicago Democratic National Convention, CCR has been at the forefront of criminal justice issues such as mass incarceration, jail expansion, and challenging unjust detentions. In a country that puts more people in jail than any other country in the world, CCR promises to continue to fight the mass incarceration of millions in our nation’s prison system, as well as challenge practices such as racial profiling, immigrant detention, and discriminatory laws that lead to a disproportionate number of people of color behind bars.
Corporate Human Rights Abuse CCR pioneered the prosecution in U.S. courts of human rights abuses committed abroad—and some of the worst perpetrators have been corporations. From the murder of activists, to the degradation of the environment in countries ranging from Nigeria and Vietnam to the Occupied Territories in Palestine and South Africa, CCR works to hold corporations accountable when torture and killings are committed to further profits.
Government Abuse of Power CCR was the first organization to challenge the Bush administration’s policy of “extraordinary rendition,” where suspects are secretly transferred from U.S. custody to foreign governments that are notorious for poor human rights records. Since its founding, CCR has fought against similar government abuses of power – restrictions on travel to Cuba, illegal surveillance and wiretapping, and U.S. military aggression in Central America and Iraq.
Racial, Gender and Economic Justice CCR was born out of the Civil Rights movement, and racial, gender and economic justice have always been cornerstones of its docket. From pioneering pro-choice and anti-domestic violence cases, to fighting employment discrimination and racial profiling, CCR has found innovative ways to challenge the status quo and support activists and movements engaged around these central questions of injustice.
International Law and Accountability As citizens of an increasingly interconnected world, it is critical that all nations, the United States especially, recognize and incorporate the norms of international law into their systems of justice. CCR pioneered the use of the Alien Tort Statute to prosecute human rights abuses committed abroad in U.S. courts and has created a body of law that helps to hold foreign officials and corporations accountable to the public.
- Vincent Warren - Executive Director
- Annette Dickerson - Director of Education and Outreach
- Kevi Brannelly - Director of Development
- Jen Nessel - Communications Coordinator
- Emily Harting - Foundations Officer
- Kamau Franklin - Racial Justice Fellow
- Shayana Kadidal - Senior Managing Attorney
- Jennifer Green - Senior Staff Attorney
- Maria LaHood - Senior Staff Attorney
- Andrea Costello - Staff Attorney
- J. Wells Dixon - Staff Attorney
- Katherine Gallagher - Staff Attorney
- Gitanjali Gutierrez - Staff Attorney
- Pardiss Kebriaei - Staff Attorney
- Emi MacLean - Staff Attorney
- Rachel Meeropol - Staff Attorney
Board of Directors
- Catherine Albisa
- Karima Bennoune
- Ann Cammett
- Marilyn Clement
- David Cole
- Rhonda Copelon
- Michelle DePass
- Greg Finger - Treasurer
- Charles Hey-Maestre - Secretary
- Abdeen Jabara
- Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr.
- Judy Lerner
- Jules Lobel - Vice-President
- Michael Ratner - President
- Alex Rosenberg - Vice-President
- Franklin Siegel
- Michael Smith
- Richard A. Sobel
- Peter Weiss - Vice-President
- Ellen Yaroshefsky
Center for Constitutional Rights
New York, NY 10012
Articles of Impeachment Against George W.Bush (144 pages, Melville House Publishing, 2006)
Against War with Iraq: An Anti-War Primer (80 pages, March 2003)