About Text and History

The Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) is a new think tank, law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of our Constitution’s text and history. CAC works 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. This blog serves as a day-to-day outlet for that mission, as we propel a progressive message and strategy that will re-frame the national debate, and win both in courtrooms and at the ballot box.

Our approach– outlined in greater detail in our introductory essay “What is Constitutional Accountability?”—employs honest textualism as a source for judicial guidance and principles, and places it alongside a principled originalism that accounts for constitutional history in its entirety. An approach rooted in honest textualism—as opposed to the “strict construction” expounded as a talking point by many politicians—reveals that the Constitution is, by and large, a progressive document. Additionally, our nation’s constitutional history is, in its most vital respects, a progressive story. The Constitution was written by revolutionaries and amended by those who prevailed in the most tumultuous social upheavals in our nation’s history – the Reconstruction Republicans after the Civil War, the Progressives and the Suffragists in the early 20th Century, the Civil Rights and student movements in the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet for too long, conservatives have claimed ownership of the Constitution without significant pushback, even as the public demonstrates its frustration with right-wing judicial outcomes. It’s time for progressives to move beyond an outdated approach to legal matters rooted primarily in outcomes and embrace accountability to the Constitution as the central criterion for evaluating judicial nominees and decisions.

Through careful yet hard-hitting analysis from CAC’s staff and expert attorneys, as well as guest contributions from our Board of Advisors and other noted progressive scholars and activists, Text and History will engage in the daily work of taking back the Constitution for progressives. Our approach will follow the example of our acclaimed sister blog, Warming Law, offering a mixture of commentary on breaking legal news and rulings; parsing of current events and dialogue with other voices in the blogosphere; and, of course, some good-natured ribbing of conservative hypocrisy and inaccuracies.

Of course, we can’t do this alone. Text and History will also serve as forum for sharing insights, ideas, and strategies, and we emphasize the “share” part. Comments, news tips, critiques, and other suggestions (email: thblog@theusconstitution.org) are strongly encouraged. Only by working in sync and developing new ideas can we forge an approach to constitutional accountability that restores our progressive Constitution to its central and rightful place in our political and legal discourse.