Supreme Court materials
- Briefs filed in cases pending in the US Supreme Court
- US Supreme Court slip opinions
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers were a series of editorials authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay that were intended to persuade the American people to ratify the Constitution. These documents are considered to be a principal source of evidence regarding the intent of the framers of the Constitution. The Federalist Papers may be accessed at the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.
- The Federalist Papers, a website maintained by The Avalon Project at Yale Law School.
- The Federalist No. 10 (citing the advantages of representative democracy over pure democracy)
- The Federalist No. 45 (explaining the advantages of having both a national and a state government)
- The Federalist No. 47, The Federalist No. 48, and The Federalist No. 51, (all discussing the doctrine of separation of powers and the idea of checks and balances)
- The Federalist No. 65 (discussing impeachment)
- The Federalist No. 78 (discussing the role of the federal judiciary)
- SCOTUSBlog maintained by Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, & Feld, containing up-to-date news and discussion on the Supreme Court and constitutional law;
- Constitutional Law Profs Blog featuring analysis and commentary on constitutional law by law professors nationwide;
- U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Summaries Blog maintained by Findlaw for Legal Professionals;
- ACLU Blog of Rights;
- Originally Speaking: The Federalist Society Online Debate Series;
- Balkinization – maintained by Professor Jack M. Balkin;
- The Volokh Conspiracy – maintained by Professor Eugene Volokh.
Constitutional Law Advocacy Organizations
The following organizations provide legal information about and advocacy on behalf of constitutional issues. Self-descriptions for each organization are provided in quotes.
- Alliance for Justice - “Alliance for Justice is a national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women’s, children’s, and consumer advocacy organizations. Since its inception in 1979, AFJ has worked to advance the cause of justice for all Americans, strengthen the public interest community’s ability to influence public policy, and foster the next generation of advocates.”
- American Civil Liberties Union - “The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”
- American Constitution Society for Law and Policy - “The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) promotes the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law. These abiding principles are reflected in the vision of the Constitution’s framers and the wisdom of forward-looking leaders who have shaped our law throughout American history. As a result of their efforts, the Constitution has retained its authority and relevance for each new generation.”
- Amnesty International - “Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all.”
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State - “Americans United (AU) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.”
- Center for Constitutional Rights - “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. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.
- Christian Coalition - “Christian Coalition offers people of faith the vehicle to be actively involved in impacting the issues they care about - from the county courthouse to the halls of Congress. The Coalition is a political organization, made up of pro-family Americans who care deeply about ensuring that government serves to strengthen and preserve, rather than threaten, our families and our values. To that end, we work continuously to identify, educate and mobilize Christians for effective political action.”
- Christian Legal Society - “Our Mission: To inspire, encourage, and equip lawyers and law students, both individually and in community, to proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, the provision of legal assistance to the poor, and the defense of religious freedom & sanctity of human life.”
- Concerned Women for America - “The mission of CWA is to protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens - first through prayer, then education, and finally by influencing our society - thereby reversing the decline in moral values in our nation.”
- Constitutional Accountability Center – “The 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.”
- Council for Secular Humanism - “The mission of the Council for Secular Humanism is to advocate and defend a nonreligious lifestance rooted in science, naturalistic philosophy, and humanist ethics and to serve and support adherents of that lifestance.”
- Family Research Council - “Family Research Council (FRC) was founded in 1983 as an organization dedicated to the promotion of marriage and family and the sanctity of human life in national policy.”
- Federalist Society - “The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.”
- First Amendment Center - “We support the First Amendment and build understanding of its core freedoms through education, information and entertainment. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the government.”
- Focus on the Family - “To cooperate with the Holy Spirit in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible by nurturing and defending the God-ordained institution of the family and promoting biblical truths worldwide.”
- Freedom from Religion Foundation - “The Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., is an educational group working for the separation of state and church. Its purposes, as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.”
- Human Rights Campaign - “The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.”
- Human Rights Watch - “Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.”
- Institute for Justice – “Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is what a civil liberties law firm should be. As our nation’s only libertarian public interest law firm, we engage in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government--like the right to earn an honest living, private property rights, and the right to free speech, especially in the areas of commercial and Internet speech. As Wired magazine said, the Institute for Justice “helps individuals subject to wacky government regulations.” Simply put, we challenge the government when it stands in the way of people trying to earn an honest living, when it unconstitutionally takes away individuals’ property, when bureaucrats instead of parents dictate the education of children, and when government stifles speech. We seek a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society.”
- Lamda Legal - “Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.”
- Liberty Counsel - “Liberty Counsel is a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. Established in 1989, Liberty Counsel is a nationwide organization with offices in Florida, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and hundreds of affiliate attorneys across the Nation.”
- NARAL Pro-Choice America - “For 40 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the nation’s leading advocate for privacy and a woman’s right to choose. With more than one million members and supporters, NARAL Pro-Choice America is fighting to protect the pro-choice values of freedom and privacy. With the Supreme Court one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade and many state legislatures under anti-choice control, our work has never been more important.”
- National Center for Constitutional Studies - A conservative constitutionalist society formerly known as the Freemen Institute.
- National Center for Public Policy Research - “The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.”
- National Organization for Marriage - “The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.”
- National Right to Life Committee - “The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. The primary interest of the National Right to Life Committee and its members has been the abortion controversy; however, it is also concerned with related matters of medical ethics which relate to the right to life issues of euthanasia and infanticide. The Committee does not have a position on issues such as contraception, sex education, capital punishment, and national defense.”
- People for the American Way - “People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way.”
- Public Knowledge – “Public Knowledge is a Washington, D.C.-based public interest group working to defend citizens’ rights in the emerging digital culture.”
- The Rutherford Institute - “The Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.”