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Center for Constitutional Rights

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Center for Constitutional Rights
FoundedJuly 1966 by Arthur Kinoy, William Kunstler, Ben Smith and Morton Stavis
  • New York City, New York, U.S.
ServicesLegal advocacy and activism

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a progressive non-profit legal advocacy organization based in New York City. It was founded in 1966; its founders included Arthur Kinoy and William Kunstler.

CCR litigated the landmark case in the United States Supreme Court of Rasul v. Bush (2004), establishing the right of detainees at Guantanamo Bay detainment camp to challenge their status in US courts and gain legal representation. Following the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel, CCR sought a court order to stop U.S. aid to Israel, alleging that Israel was engaging in a genocide against Palestinians. The case was dismissed on grounds of jurisdiction.[1][2]


Jules Lobel, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, testifying before a congressional subcommittee about the War Powers Act.

After the September 11 attacks, CCR initiated a variety of lawsuits challenging the Bush administration's detention, extraordinary rendition, and interrogation practices in the war on terror. When CCR president Michael Ratner filed Rasul v. Bush in 2002, this was the first lawsuit to challenge President George W. Bush's wartime detentions at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.[3]

It was the first time in history that the Court had ruled against the president on behalf of alleged enemy fighters in wartime. And it was the first of four Supreme Court decisions between 2004 and 2008 that rejected President Bush's assertion of unchecked executive power in the "war on terror."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson, Sydney (February 1, 2024). "Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking to Stop US Aid to Israel". www.kqed.org. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  2. ^ Elhaddad, Laila (June 10, 2024). "Why I'm Suing Joe Biden for Complicity in the Genocide in Gaza". The Nation. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  3. ^ a b David Cole, "Michael Ratner’s Army: The Fight Against Guantánamo", NYR Daily, 15 May 2016

External links[edit]