|Center for Constitutional Rights|
|Founded:||July 1966 by Arthur Kinoy, William Kunstler, Ben Smith and Morton Stavis|
|Location:||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Key people:||Michael Ratner, President: Jules Lobel, Alex Rosenberg and Peter Weiss, Vice-Presidents; Vincent Warren, Executive Director|
|Fields:||Defending and promoting civil rights, constitutional rights, racial, economic, gender and social justice, international law and accountability. A non-profit organization ( abbreviated "NPO" also "not-for-profit" is a legally constituted Organization whose objective is to support or engage The City of New York New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Defending against illegal detentions, illegal surveillance and attacks on dissent, mass incarceration, human rights abuse and government abuse of power|
|Services:||Advocacy, legal representation, public education|
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a non-profit legal advocacy organization based in New York City, New York, U.S., founded in 1966 by American attorney William Kunstler. The City of New York New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Year 1966 ( MCMLXVI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. William Moses Kunstler ( July 7, 1919 - September 4, 1995) was an American self-described "radical lawyer" and Civil rights In recent years, CCR has been frequently in the news for their civil liberties and human rights litigation and activism, as well as their legal assistance to the people imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is a controversial United States Detention center operated by Joint Task Force Guantanamo since 2002 in Guantanamo
The Center, originally the Law Center for Constitutional Rights, was set up to give legal and financial support to lawyers who were representing civil rights movement activists in Mississippi at the height of the struggle against segregation and economic injustice. Its founders were Morton Stavis, Arthur Kinoy, Ben Smith and William Kunstler. William Moses Kunstler ( July 7, 1919 - September 4, 1995) was an American self-described "radical lawyer" and Civil rights The Center conceived of itself as a "movement support" organization -- that is, an organization that concentrated on working with political and social activists to use the courts to promote the activists’ work. Cases were chosen not necessarily because they could be won, but also because they would raise public awareness of an issue, generating media attention, or energizing activists harassed by local law enforcement in the South. In this regard, the Center differed from more traditional legal non-profits such as the ACLU, which was more focused on bringing winnable cases in order to extend precedents and develop the law, as well as pursue First Amendment issues. The American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU) consists of two separate Non-profit organizations the ACLU Foundation a 501(c(3 organization which focuses
During the 1960s and 1970s the Center brought scores of cases on behalf of civil rights activists, many of which made their way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. Despite the Center's ready embrace of litigation strategies promising "success without victory" (as the title of CCR board member Jules Lobel's book put it), many of these lawsuits resulted in victories and set lasting precedents.
Dombrowski v. Pfister, 1965: The Center for Constitutional Rights’ first major case was a successful suit against the Louisiana Un-American Activities Committee to invalidate the use of state anti-subversion laws to intimidate civil rights workers. The House Committee on Un-American Activities ( HUAC or HCUA 1938–1975 was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. CCR won the case in the Supreme Court and established that such intimidation had a “chilling effect” on First amendment rights and was therefore unconstitutional. Constitutionality is the status of a law, a procedure or an act's accordance with the laws or guidelines set forth in the applicable Constitution.
Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz, 1972: Abramowicz successfully challenged New York state laws that restricted abortion, and served as a model for challenges to similar laws in other states. An This case marks the first instance of challenge to abortion statues being argued by women plaintiffs in terms of women’s right to choice rather than a doctor’s right to practice.
United States v. Dellinger, 1972: CCR attorneys William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass vigorously defended the “Chicago 8”, a group of leading social movement figures, after the 1968 Democratic National Convention demonstrations and consequent police repression. Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of Individuals and/or Organizations focused on specific The eight defendants, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Bobby Seale, were anti-war, civil rights and human rights activists, and Students for a Democratic Society and Black Panther Party members. David Dellinger ( August 22, 1915 – May 25, 2004) one of the most influential American radicals of the 20th century was a Rennie Davis (born Rennard Cordon Davis, 1941 was a prominent American anti-Vietnam War protest leader of the 1960s Thomas Emmet Hayden (born December 11 1939) is an American social and political activist and politician most famous for his involvement Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman (November 30 1936 &ndash April 12 1989 was a radical social and political activist in the United States who co-founded the Jerry Rubin ( July 14, 1938 – November 28, 1994) was a high-profile left-wing American social activist during the 1960s and Robert George "Bobby" Seale (born October 22, 1936 in Dallas Texas) is an American Civil rights activist who along Students for a Democratic Society ( SDS) was historically a student activist movement in the United States that was one of the main iconic representations The Black Panther Party (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was a Marxist / Maoist African-American organization established All of the eight were found not guilty of their conspiracy charges, but five were found guilty of crossing state lines to incite a riot. Riots are a form of Civil disorders characterized by disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of Violence, Vandalism or other
Monell v. Department of Social Services, 1978: Although this case began as a challenge to New York City’s forced maternity leave policies, its resolution created a precedent that for the first time established local government accountability for unconstitutional acts and created the right to obtain damages from municipalities in such cases. Monell v City of New York Department of Social Services, was a case decided by the United States Supreme Court, in which the court overruled its holding in Since 1978, this precedent has been used by lawyers and non-profits as a tool to challenge police misconduct, civil rights violations, and other local unconstitutional acts. Police misconduct refers to objectionable actions taken by Police officers in connection with their official duties which can lead to a Miscarriage of justice.
Filártiga v. Peña-Irala, 1980: Filártiga established a precedent for the use of the then-obscure Alien Tort Statute to allow foreign victims of human rights abuses to seek justice in U. Filártiga v Peña-Irala, 630 F2d 876 ( 2d Cir 1980 was a landmark case in United States and International law. The Alien Tort Statute ( ATS, also called the Alien Tort Claims Act and Alien Torts Claim Act) is a Federal law of the United States Human rights refers to the "basic Rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled S. courts. CCR represented the family of Joelito Filártiga, the son of a left-wing Paraguayan dissident who had been tortured and killed by Paraguayan police. Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay ( Spanish: República del Paraguay; Guaraní: Tetã Paraguái) is one of the only The precedent created by this case has facilitated many subsequent international human rights cases, including Doe v. Karadzic, and Doe v. Unocal, cases which established that multinational corporations and other non-state actors can be held responsible for their complicity in human rights violations.
Daniels v. City of New York, 2003: This case forced the New York City Police Department to end their practice of stopping and frisking people solely on the basis of their race or national origin. The case also highlighted the practices of the notorious NYPD Street Crimes Unit (responsible for the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo), leading to its disbandment. Amadou Bailo Diallo ( September 2, 1975 – February 4, 1999) was a 23-year-old immigrant to the United States from Guinea The case’s settlement created an internal audit system of officers engaged in stop and frisks, the results of which are turned over to CCR on a quarterly basis. In addition, the settlement required the NYPD to begin “know your rights” public education programs. CCR is currently attempting to compel the NYPD to comply with the terms of the settlement.
Rasul v. Bush, 2004: CCR represented Guantanamo detainees seeking fair trials and an end to their indefinite imprisonment without charge. Rasul v Bush, 542 US 466 (2004 is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision establishing that the U The Supreme Court case established precedent for U. S. courts’ jurisdiction over the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, affirming detainees’ right to habeas corpus review. This right was later revoked when the Military Commissions Act passed. The United States Military Commissions Act of 2006, also known as HR-6166 was an Act of Congress signed by President George W CCR’s current Guantanamo habeas corpus case, Al Odah v. United States, which is now before the Supreme Court, is an attempt to reestablish the rights that were recognized in the Rasul decision. Habeas corpus (ˈheɪbiəs ˈkɔɹpəs ( Latin: command that you have the body is the name of a legal action or Writ, through which a person can seek relief Al Odah v United States is a court case filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsels challenging the legality of the continued detention without
Al Odah v. United States: Al Odah is the latest in a series of habeas corpus petitions on behalf of people imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Al Odah v United States is a court case filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsels challenging the legality of the continued detention without Habeas corpus (ˈheɪbiəs ˈkɔɹpəs ( Latin: command that you have the body is the name of a legal action or Writ, through which a person can seek relief The case challenges the Military Commissions system’s suitability as a habeas corpus substitute and the legality, in general, of detention at Guantanamo.
Arar v. Ashcroft: This case challenges U. S. government’s extraordinary rendition policies and highlights the experience of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen sent by the United States to be tortured in Syria. Maher Arar (born 1970 a telecommunications engineer lives in Canada, holding dual Syrian and Canadian citizenship Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية He has never been charged, and has been found by the Canadian government to be uninvolved with terrorism. He and the Center for Constitutional Rights seek an acknowledgment of the U. S. 's involvement and an end to the rendition program.
Atban, et al. v. Blackwater USA, et al. : CCR has filed suit on behalf of the civilian victims of the infamous September 16, 2007, Blackwater Baghdad shootings in Nisoor square, Baghdad, by Blackwater USA’s armed contractors. Events 1400 - Owain Glyndŵr is declared Prince of Wales by his followers Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. On September 16, 2007, Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square Baghdad Baghdad (بغداد) is the Capital of Iraq and of Baghdad Governorate, with which it is also coterminous Blackwater Worldwide, formerly Blackwater USA, is a Private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark The suit charges that Blackwater “created and fostered a culture of lawlessness amongst its employees, encouraging them to act in the company’s financial interests at the expense of innocent human life. ” Blackwater is also accused of extrajudicial killing and war crimes, assault and battery, wrongful death, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, training and supervision.
Bandele v. City of New York: CCR filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of three members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement who, while peacefully and lawfully videotaping NYPD officers, were arrested and imprisoned in 2005.
Barre v. Gates: CCR has placed a Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) petition for an official UNHRC Somali refugee currently being held at Guantánamo.
CCR v. Bush: This lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the NSA’s surveillance of people within the United States without warrant or prior court approval.
Celikgogus v. Rumsfeld: This case is seeking declaratory relief and compensatory damages for five former Guantánamo detainees who had never been members of any terrorist group and who were all released from Guantánamo without being charged with any crime. Several captives released from Extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in Cuba have filed a lawsuit against the USA for their detention --
Estate of Ali Hussamalde Albazzaz v. Blackwater Worldwide, et al. : This case is a civil suit filed on behalf of the family of an Iraqi man killed when Blackwater Worldwide personnel opened fire on innocent bystanders in and around Al Watahba Square in Baghdad. CCR is therefore charging Blackwater Worldwide with warcrimes.
Khan v. Bush: This suit is filed on behalf of Majid Khan, a U. S. asylum-holder who was held in secret detention at a C. I. A. "black site" for three years, after which he was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. CCR has filed a habeas corpus submission on his behalf.
Kilmon, et al. v. City of Miami, et al. : This lawsuit, on behalf of 21 activists participating in lawful protests in 2003 during the meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), is challenging the government’s assault on the civil rights of protesters through a deliberate and coordinated disruption of their lawful political protests and their violations of demonstrators’ constitutional rights during the November 2003 meetings.
Kunstler v. City of New York: This lawsuit charges the New York Police Department with unlawfully arresting peaceful anti-war protesters and holding them for excessively long periods of time.
Mamani, et al. v. Sanchez de Lozada/ Mamani et al v. Sanchez Berzain: These two suits have been filed against the former President of Bolivia, Gonzalo Daniel Sánchez de Lozada Sánchez Bustamante and former Minister of Defense, Jose Carlos Sánchez Berzaín for their roles in the deaths of civilians during popular protests against the government of Bolivia in September and October of 2003.
Matar v. Dichter: CCR is presenting a federal class action lawsuit against the former Director of Israel’s General Security Service (GSS), Avi Dichter, on behalf of the Palestinians killed or injured in a 2002 “targeted assassination” air strike in Gaza. It charges him with extra-judicial killing, war crimes and other gross human rights violations.
Saleh v. Titan: Saleh is a federal class action lawsuit against Titan and CACI International Incorporated, contractors who provided interrogation services at Abu Ghraib. The lawsuit accuses the contractors of cruel and humiliating treatment during interrogations.
Turkmen v. Ashcroft: This suit, filed on behalf of a class of Muslim, South Asian, and Arab non-citizens, is a class action civil rights lawsuit contesting their being swept up by the INS and FBI in a racial profiling dragnet following 9/11.
United States v. City of New York (formerly Vulcan Society v. City of New York): This is an Equal Opportunity Commission charge filed by CCR on behalf of the Vulcan Society, an organization of Black firefighters in New York City. The lawsuit charges Fire Department of New York with discriminatory hiring practices. The New York City Fire Department or the Fire Department City of New York ( FDNY) has the responsibility for protecting the citizens and property of New York City
Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, Wiwa v. Anderson, and Wiwa v. Shell Petroleum Development Company : These are three lawsuits focusing on the human rights abuses against the Ogoni people in Nigeria. They are being brought against the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading Company (Royal Dutch/Shell), the head of its Nigerian operation, and Royal Dutch/Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary for their complicity in the abuses.
Zalita v. Bush: This case forwards a habeas corpus petition for Mr. Al Qassim, a Libyan refugee currently detained in Guantanamo after almost six years who the U. S. government wishes to transfer back to his native country despite the possible threat of torture and persecution.