American Constitution Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
The American Constitution Society Logo
Type Legal
Purpose 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.[1]
Caroline Fredrickson

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is a progressive legal organization that promotes the U.S. Constitutional values of "individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law." [2]

ACS was created as a counterweight to, and is modeled after, the Federalist Society, and is often described as its progressive counterpart.[3][4][5][6][7]

ACS has 190 student chapters and 39 lawyer chapters around the country. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The organization promotes and facilitates discussion and debate of progressive public policy ideas and issues, providing forums for legal scholars, lawmakers, judges, lawyers, public policy advocates, law students and members of the media.


ACS hosts press and Capitol Hill briefings and public policy debates as well as an annual convention where experts, both conservative and progressive, debate and discuss an array of legal and public policy issues. The annual conference draws lawyers, judges, elected officials, academics, public interest activists and students. Speakers at ACS events have included U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, Vice President Joe Biden, former Vice President Al Gore, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold, Amy Klobuchar, Patrick Leahy, Charles Schumer, Paul Wellstone, and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Representatives Tammy Baldwin, Artur Davis, Barney Frank, Diana DeGette, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and John Lewis, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Janet Reno and Attorney General Eric Holder, former Solicitors General Paul D. Clement, Walter E. Dellinger, Drew S. Days and Seth P. Waxman, and White House Counsel Greg Craig.

ACS publications, communications and projects[edit]

The organization fosters debate and discussion about legal and justice policy issues through the dissemination of ACS Issue Briefs, the ACSBlog, the Harvard Law and Policy Review (HLPR) (which serves as the official journal of ACS), and Advance: The Journal of the ACS Issue Groups.

In 2009, ACS published Keeping Faith with the Constitution by Pamela S. Karlan, Goodwin Liu and Christopher H. Schroeder.[8] Keeping Faith examines the text and history of the Constitution revealing how the nation's framers inscribed the fundamental values of liberty, equality and democracy into the document.

In 2010, Oxford University Press published an updated version of Keeping Faith as part of its noted Inalienable Rights series.[9]


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Mission", American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
  3. ^ Michael McGough, Supreme Court nomination battle spotlights legal societies and their divergent views: Newer American Constitution Society modeled on more conservative Federalist Society (August 14, 2005), Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
  4. ^ Jonathan H. Adler, FedSoc v. ACS (June 19, 2010). Volokh Conspiracy.
  5. ^ Leslie A. Gordon, Left Turn Permitted (May 1, 2011), ABA Journal.
  6. ^ Stephanie Mencimer, The Tea Party Wants to Teach Your Kids About the Constitution (May 12, 2011). Mother Jones.
  7. ^ Douglas W. Kmiec, Let Dawn Do It (April 13, 2009). Legal Times.
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links[edit]