About CAC

Preserving the rights and freedoms of all Americans and protecting our judiciary

Our Vision

Constitutional Accountability Center envisions a future in which judges, policymakers, academics, non-profit organizations, and the public understand the Constitution, in its most vital respects, to be a progressive document, and always apply the text, history, and values of the whole Constitution to resolve disputes over its meaning.

 

Our Mission

Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) is a think tank, law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of our Constitution’s text and history. We work in our courts, through our government, and with legal scholars to preserve the rights and freedoms of all Americans and to protect our judiciary from politics and special interests.

Key Facts

Leadership

Founded by Doug Kendall in June 2008. Elizabeth Wydra becomes President January 2016.

Amicus Briefs Filed

150+ total and 100+ in the U.S. Supreme Court. "On the side of the most amicus victories" in October 2015-16 Term, per Empirical SCOTUS.

Practitioners

Former clerks for five U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, including one former U.S. Supreme Court clerk.

Testimonial

"CAC’s ability to persuade conservative judges at a time of extreme polarization on the Court is striking." – Jeff Rosen, National Constitution Center

Our History

Constitutional Accountability Center was launched in 2008 by the late Doug Kendall to build on the work of our predecessor organization, Community Rights Counsel. CRC was a public interest law firm that promoted constitutional principles in defense of laws that make our communities environmentally sound and socially just. CAC was founded to push beyond environmental justice to promote the progressive promise of the whole Constitution’s text and history.

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Our Method

Combined, honest textualism and principled originalism—text and history—constitute CAC’s method and form the essential foundation for assessing constitutional accountability. Click to learn more about our method.

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Staff

Surjeet Ahluwalia

Chief Operating Officer

Aneesa Din

Development Manager

Brian R. Frazelle

Appellate Counsel

David H. Gans

Director of the Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Citizenship Program

Brianne J. Gorod

Chief Counsel

Kristine A. Kippins

Director of Policy

Nina Oat

Research and Administrative Associate

Doug Pennington

Director of Communications

Ashwin Phatak

Appellate Counsel

Leslie Phillips

Deputy Director of Communications

Brian Yourish

Office Manager

Board of Directors

Advisors

Former Staff

Doug Kendall (1964-2015)

Founder and CAC's first President

Judith E. Schaeffer

Former Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Simon Lazarus

Former Senior Counsel

Tom Donnelly

Former Counsel

Elisabeth M. Stein

Former Policy Counsel

Tyler Sonnemaker

Former Communications Associate and Web Manager