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Our History

The Constitutional Accountability Center was launched in 2008 as a transformed and expanded organization formerly known as Community Rights Counsel (CRC). Follow the links to watch videos from the launch and see media generated by the launch.

CAC's predecessor organization, CRC, was a public interest law firm founded in 1998 that promoted constitutional principles to defend laws that make our communities environmentally sound and socially just.

CRC developed a unique approach to public interest law, combining top-flight legal advocacy, hard-nosed investigative research and intensive communications. Applying this approach to its work on environmental issues in judicial selection, its advocacy before the Supreme Court, and its fight against anti-environmental judicial junkets, CRC had an impact few organizations its size could claim.

CRC helped win Supreme Court victories in cases involving the scope of the Constitution's Takings Clause and in cases that shape the boundaries of federal and state responsibility for the environment. These cases covered a wide range of legal issues, but CRC’s recipe for success in each was the same: the firm represented important clients and explained to the Supreme Court why constitutional text and history dictated progressive results.

In early 1998, CRC discovered that each year dozens of federal judges were being wined and dined at anti-environmental “junkets for judges.” CRC carefully reviewed thousands of financial disclosure forms of our federal judges, documenting dozens of startling cases of conflict of interest on the federal bench involving both junkets and judicial stock holdings. The work generated hundreds of news stories and triggered congressional legislation, reform efforts within the judicial branch, and dozens of editorials in national papers.

In 2008, the leadership of CRC turned its powerful approach to creating the Constitutional Accountability Center, a think tank, law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of our Constitution's text and history.

Books and Reports

CAC publishes reports on constitutional issues, the records of judicial nominees, important judicial ethics issues and more. Read and download CAC and CRC reports.