Past Cases

Print Friendly and PDF

The Supreme Court will hear CCR's case Al Odah v. U.S. this term.

Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has remained dedicated to defending and advancing the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Many of CCR historic victories have established major legal precedents, from Filártiga v. Peña-Irala which opened U.S. courts for victims of serious human rights violations from anywhere in the world, to NOW v. Terry which established a buffer zone around abortion clinics. We have approximately 130 of CCR's past cases available here. This list can be ordered by date or name, and filtered by the CCR issues to which they relate.

  1. Davis v. United States (amicus)

    Davis v. United States challenged the distribution of some $56 million provided by the federal government in 1976 in settlement of claims for lands lost by tribal members in the 1820s. The tribal council determined…

  2. Detroit Free Press (Haddad) v. Creppy and Ashcroft/North Jersey Media Group v. Creppy and Ashcroft

    The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and others challenged the Creppy Directive, which closes cases that may be of special interest to the 9/11 investigation to all members of the press and public. This Directive…

  3. Diggs v. Schultz

    Diggs v. Schultz is a lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to invalidate the Byrd Amendment. It was brought on behalf of the Black Congressional Caucus and other groups, including Zimbabwean exiles…

  4. Doe v. Karadzic

    In 1993, CCR and co-counsel sued Karadzic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – including the campaign of rape and other sexual violence as a form of torture and genocide used against Bosnian…

  5. Dombrowski v. Eastland

    Dr. Dombrowski was the director of the Southern Conference Educational Fund and one of the few white southern leaders of the civil rights movement. He was arrested and charged because of his “subversive” actions which…

  6. Dombrowski v. Pfister

    Dr. James Dombrowski and his companions argued that the Louisiana authorities were using anti-subversive laws to intimidate, harass, and jail citizens who were defending the rights of Black people. 

  7. Dotson v. Indianola

    The City of Indianola, Mississippi, annexed adjacent areas and thereby reduced its Black population from approximately 70 percent before 1964 to 46 percent at the time the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) lawsuit was filed…

  8. Douglas v. Holloman

    Each year in New York City, thousands of women were being sterilized without their informed consent, because they had been misinformed about the irreversibility of the operation or coerced into consenting. Statistically, Black and Puerto…

  9. Drew Municipal School District v. Andrews

    Drew Municipal School District v. Andrews is a lawsuit that the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed on behalf of two Black women against the Drew Municipal School District for refusing to hire them. The…

  10. Drinan, et al. v. Ford, et al.

    Beginning with Massachusetts v. Laird in 1971, the First Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrated a greater reluctance than most other courts to dismiss as “political” suits challenging presidential war-making without congressional authority.

  11. DuVernay v. United States

    In the 1960’s, young men in Black communities generally did not have the benefit of student deferments or the sophisticated selective service counseling available to the white middle class. DuVernay was a young man who…

  12. Filártiga v. Peña-Irala

    On April 6, 1979, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Filártiga v. Peña-Irala was filed on behalf of Dr. Joel Filártiga and Dolly Filártiga charging former Paraguayan official Americo…

  13. Finley v. NEA

    In September 1990, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel filed a First Amendment lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a 1990 law requiring the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to consider “general standards…

  14. Goosby v. Town of Hempstead

    The population of Hempstead, New York, which covers the heart of Long Island’s Nassau County, is 13 percent Black and Latino, but all of its six Republican council members lived in predominantly white neighborhoods. In…

  15. Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles v. Reagan

    The threat of nuclear war was intensified in the 1980’s by the introduction of smaller, more accurate nuclear weapons. With these weapons came Pentagon theories of the viability of fighting nuclear wars. This dangerous combination…

  16. Haase v. Webster

    Returning from Nicaragua in January 1985, Edward Haase, a Kansas City-based journalist, was detained for five hours by U.S. Customs and FBI officials while they seized, read, and photocopied his address book, notes, diary, and…

  17. Haitian Centers Council, Inc. v. Sale

    Once in office, President Bill Clinton continued the Bush administration policy of forcibly returning Haitian immigrants and maintaining a virtual prison camp for HIV-positive Haitians at Guantánamo, much to the dismay of the human rights…

  18. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (amicus)

    Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni national who was Osama Bin Laden’s driver and guard, was captured in Afghanistan during the hostilities in 2001. In 2004, President George W. Bush ordered that Hamdan be tried by…

  19. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (amicus)

    The Center for Constitutional Rights’ (CCR) amicus brief challenged the government's position that a United States citizen, detained within the United States, might be denied all the protections of the Constitution and Geneva Conventions if…

  20. Hamer v. Campbell

    Fannie Lou Hamer was a poor Black woman from the South who always questioned the unfair treatment and status of people of color in society.  Throughout her life, she constantly spoke out against Black oppression…

  21. Harris v. McRae

    On January 15, 1980, after 13 months of deliberation, Federal District Court Judge John F. Dooling Jr. invalidated the Hyde Amendment—federal restrictions on Medicaid funds for medically necessary abortions—as violating the First and Fifth Amendments.…

  22. Heidy v. United States Customs Service

    The government’s assertion in Haase v. Webster that Edward Haase’s experience with Customs was an isolated incident of harassment constituted the premise of the lower court’s decision in that case. The Customs Service, however, was…

  23. Helen Todd v. Sintong Panjaitan

    In September 1992, CCR filed a wrongful death suit in Massachusetts federal court against Indonesian General Sintong Pangaitan on behalf of Helen Todd, whose 20-year-old son Kamal Bamadhaj, a citizen of New Zealand, was killed…

  24. Hess v. Schlesinger

    The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) took on the case of Hess v. Schlesinger in 1973 because it concerned the treatment of women as an extension of their husbands.  In this case, CCR challenged the…

  25. Horman v. Kissinger

    Horman v. Kissinger is a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in October 1977 that charged former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the rest of the State Department with complicity in…