Our Issues

The Center for Constitutional Rights is committed to fighting injustice on many fronts, as demonstrated by the breadth of our cases as well as our organizing work. CCR works on a wide range of issues:

Illegal Detentions and Guantanamo
Since 2001, the government has illegally detained thousands of people, the most recognized example being the men at Guantánamo. CCR has fought for the right to due process, filing countless cases on behalf of detainees and others swept up in the so-called War on Terror.

Surveillance and Attacks on Dissent
CCR represents demonstrators who have been wrongfully arrested and movements that have been infiltrated and spied on. For decades, the U.S. government has engaged in unlawful surveillance and attempted to expand Executive powers to monitor and intimidate activists, from the Black Panthers in the 1960’s and 70’s to the Central America Solidarity Movement in the 80’s to administration critics today.

Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration
Since our inception in the 1960’s, when our attorneys defended protestors at the Chicago Democratic National Convention, CCR has been at the forefront of criminal justice issues such as mass incarceration, jail expansion, and challenging unjust detentions. In a country that puts more people in jail than any other country in the world, we will continue to fight the mass incarceration of millions in our nation’s prison system, as well as challenge practices such as racial profiling, immigrant detention, and discriminatory laws that lead to a disproportionate number of people of color behind bars.

Corporate Human Rights Abuse
CCR pioneered the prosecution in U.S. courts of human rights abuses committed abroad—and some of the worst perpetrators have been corporations. From the murder of activists, to the degradation of the environment in countries ranging from Nigeria and Vietnam to the Occupied Territories in Palestine and South Africa, corporations must be held accountable when torture and killings are committed to further profits.

Government Abuse of Power
CCR was the first organization to challenge the Bush administration’s policy of “extraordinary rendition,” where suspects are secretly transferred from U.S. custody to foreign governments that are notorious for poor human rights records. Since our founding, we have fought against similar government abuses of power – restrictions on travel to Cuba, illegal surveillance and wiretapping, and U.S. military aggression in Central America and Iraq.

Racial, Gender and Economic Justice

CCR was born out of the Civil Rights movement, and racial, gender and economic justice have been cornerstones of our docket throughout our history. From pioneering pro-choice and anti-domestic violence cases, to fighting employment discrimination and racial profiling, CCR finds innovative ways to challenge the status quo and support activists and movements engaged around these central questions of injustice.

International Law and Accountability
As citizens of an increasingly interconnected world, it is critical that all nations, the United States especially, recognize and incorporate the norms of international law into their systems of justice. CCR pioneered the use of the Alien Tort Statute to prosecute human rights abuses committed abroad in U.S. courts and has created a body of law that helps to hold foreign officials and corporations accountable to the public.

Last modified 

January 11, 2010