The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

– Frederick Douglass

Issues We Fight

Abusive Immigration Practices

The U.S. government has a long history of violating the civil and human rights of immigrants, who often lack political power and access to justice. From our early support of the Sanctuary Movement and our representation of HIV-positive Haitians held in Guantánamo to our legal challenges to…

Corporate Human Rights Abuses

Since our founding in 1966, the Center has pioneered legal strategies to ensure that courtroom doors remain open to those with the least access to justice. In few instances is this more difficult than when our clients are seeking justice for human rights violations committed or facilitated by a…

Criminalizing Dissent

CCR was born out of dissent. Growing directly out of Civil Rights struggles in the South, we have consistently worked to protect the right to dissent, not simply as an individual liberty but as the starting point for social change. Historically, CCR established the right to challenge the…

Discriminatory Policing

CCR has tenaciously challenged discriminatory policing for decades, recognizing that discrimination and police violence do not arise as isolated incidents but are deeply embedded within our criminal justice system. We have challenged both local law enforcement (most notably the NYPD) and federal…

Drone Killings

Since 2002, the United States has operated a secretive killing program using armed drones and other weapons in multiple countries, far removed from any legitimate battlefields. These so-called targeted killings have left thousands of people dead and injured, including hundreds of children. Three…

Government Surveillance

From the stunning revelations of the FBI’s COINTELPRO program just a few years after CCR was founded to the broad-ranging surveillance of the post-9/11 era, CCR has consistently sought to expose and oppose government surveillance. We have worked to protect individuals and communities from…


Since the prison opened in 2002, CCR has been at the forefront of the legal battle against indefinite detention and torture at Guantánamo, representing many current and former detainees. We sent one of the first civilian lawyers to the base; organized a network of hundreds of lawyers (the “GITMO…

LGBTQI Persecution

CCR has long had a deep commitment to protecting members of LGBTQI communities from discrimination, censorship, violence, and persecution. Throughout the 1990s, the Center fought for the rights of gays and lesbians to serve in the Peace Corps, march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, receive…

Mass Incarceration

CCR works hard to empower those who have been imprisoned, supporting movements begun by prisoners and foregrounding their stories and voices in our work. With the

National Lawyers Guild

, we provide our

Jailhouse Lawyers

Muslim Profiling

CCR fights tirelessly to obtain justice for those who have fallen victim to domestic government abuses perpetuated in the name of the so-called “war on terror.” Our challenges to discriminatory profiling, torture, and illegal detentions of Muslims in the U.S. began in the days immediately after…

Palestinian Solidarity

CCR has long challenged impunity for the Israeli government’s violations of international law related to its illegal occupation of Palestine, U.S. support that enables Israel’s violations, and efforts to punish activists for speaking out in solidarity with Palestine. We have sought transparency…

Racial Injustice

CCR has been fighting for racial justice since our first day. We organized legal support for and defended marchers who were arrested on the historic Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965; litigated scores of Voting Rights Act cases; led challenges to de facto segregation that held states responsible…

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Since the 1970s, combating sexual and gender-based violence has been an integral part of CCR’s mission. We fought for recognition of the right to self-defense for victims of domestic violence, winning the first ever appeal of a murder conviction on these grounds, and helped to strike down New…

Torture, War Crimes, & Militarism

CCR has a long history of challenging U.S. war-making and conflict-related human rights violations, both before and since the creation of the war-on-terror narrative. In the 1970s, we pioneered the use of the…


Corporate Capture

“Corporate capture” is a phenomenon where private industry uses its political influence to take control of the decision-making apparatus of the state, such as regulatory agencies, law enforcement entities, and

Open Records Project: FOIA for the Movement

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal statute that enables anyone in the United States to request records from federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of State. The act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, the same year as…

Active Cases

Our current cases reflects our unwavering commitment to progressive principles, people’s movements and human rights as well as our creative use of the law as a positive force for social change.

Our active cases >>

Historic Cases

Many of the Center’s historic victories have established major legal precedents.

Our historic cases >>

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