Criminalizing Dissent

Cases

A federal prosecution, under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, of two animal rights activists for allegedly liberating animals from fur farms.
A lawsuit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for firing Professor Steven Salaita from a tenured position over his tweets critical of Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza.
A due process challenge to the Communications Management Units (CMUs), two highly restrictive federal prison units that segregate certain prisoners and severely limit and control their communication...
The federal prosecution, on "animal enterprise terrorism" charges, of 6 animal rights activists and their non-profit organization, for publishing a website that advocated and reported on protest...
A facial challenge to the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech
Representing current and former Olympia Food Co-op board members who are being sued over their decision to boycott Israeli goods.
A federal prosecution of four animal rights activists in California for conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism.
A lawsuit brought on behalf of three journalists against the City of St. Paul, the City of Minneapolis, Ramsey County, and multiple law enforcement officers to challenge the targeting by law...
Kunstler v. City of New York was a multi-plaintiff federal lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) against the New York Police Department (NYPD) on behalf of protesters who were...
Camilo E. Mejia is a former staff sergeant with the Florida National Guard who, in 2004, after over eight years of military service and a five-month tour in ar-Ramadi in southern Iraq, became the...
Kevin Olliff is an animal rights activist who was arrested April 18, 2009 on three year-old protest charges and, soon after, had 10 felony counts added to his charges: multiple counts of: stalking,...
Bandele v. City of New York was a federal civil rights lawsuit brought against the City of New York and three NYPD officers in 2007. It charges that the defendants falsely arrested and imprisoned the...
Bari v. Held is a lawsuit that charged the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), former FBI agent-in-charge Richard Held, and the Oakland Police Department with violating Judi Bari and Darryl...
This case, Seeds of Peace v. City of Pittsburgh , USDC W.D. PA, was filed on behalf of activists harassed by the police in the days before the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. It is related to the Codepink...
Killmon, et al. v. City of Miami, et al. is a lawsuit brought on behalf of 21 activists against 50 defendants from the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the City of...
Soto v. Romero-Barcelo was a case which brought suit to uncover FBI involvement in the killing of young pro-independence activists at Cerro Maravilla, Puerto Rico. The case led to substantial awards...
The Nation v. Haig was a case which defended the right of Americans to receive Cuban publications.
United States v. Dellinger is a criminal case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) challenged the Justice Department’s misuse of the grand jury process in conducting its investigation...
United States v. Berkan is a criminal case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) represented Judy Berkan, Bishop Antulio Parilla Bonilla, Salvador Tió, and William Andrés Trevathan and...
United States v. Banks and Means is a 1974 case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) defended American Indian sovereignty at Wounded Knee and represented leaders in the American Indian...
United States v. Brett Bursey is an appeal brief filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and cooperating attorney Lewis Pitts, charging that the Secret Service violated its own...
In the 1960s, particularly after HUAC produced Operation Abolition, a film meant to justify the committee’s existence which inadvertently underscored its high-handed tactics, people increasingly...
National Student Association, et al. v. Hershey is a government misconduct case which challenged the Selective Service Director’s orders to draft all men who took part in anti-war campaigns. By 1969...
McSurely v. McClellan is a case that challenged congressional immunity for wrongdoing with regards to the illegal seizure and copying of written documents from the home of voting rights activists...
Kinoy v. District of Columbia is a lawsuit in which CCR, joined by bar associations, law professors, and lawyers throughout the country, came to Arthur Kinoy’s defense, arguing that attorneys have...
Jeanette Rankin Brigade v. Capitol Police arose when a group of protestors was arrested under a federal statute that prohibited demonstrating, walking, or standing in groups on the Capitol grounds...
In the Matter of Randall , the INS invoked the McCarran-Walter Act’s ideological exclusion provision to force Margaret Randall, a prominent poet and essayist who was born in the United States, to...
These two deportation cases involve two Palestinian activists, Khader Hamide and Michel Shehadeh, whom the government have attempted to deport since 1987. They argue that Hamide and Shehadeh’s lawful...
Dombrowski v. Pfister is a government misconduct case brought in 1965 against the governor of Louisiana, law enforcement officers, and the chairperson of the state's Legislative Joint Committee on Un...
Dombrowski v. Eastland is a government misconduct case in which Dr. James Dombrowski filed suit against the chairperson of the Internal Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee...
Briggs v. Goodwin is a case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) led a team of lawyers in successfully defending leaders of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, known as the “...
Bick v. Mitchell is a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS...

CCR was born out of dissent. Growing directly out of Civil Rights struggles in the South, we have consistently worked to protect the right to dissent, not simply as an individual liberty but as the starting point for social change. Historically, CCR established the right to challenge the constitutionality of subpoenas to the House Un-American Activities Committee; litigated on behalf of anti-war activists; defended witnesses against grand juries; represented the Chicago 8 and had their convictions overturned; and won landmark First Amendment cases in the Supreme Court. In more recent years, the Center has been among the most prominent defenders of animal rights and environmental activists targeted by the corporate and government repression known as the Green Scare; we have stood firmly by those advocating for Palestinian human rights; and we have been staunch defenders of whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning. Along with litigation, we educate activists and communities about their rights, both through our widely-requested, free booklet If An Agent Knocks, and by providing informational legal trainings to activists. In 2012, we published Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in Twenty-First-Century America, and in 2017 we are prepared to respond to new assaults on the right to dissent from the Trump administration.