Past Cases

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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. Powell v. McCormack

    In 1969, Adam Clayton Powell and 13 voters of the 18th Congressional District of New York sued, alleging that House Resolution No. 278 violated the Constitution because it prevented an elected leader, Powell, from taking…

  2. Puerto Rican Subversives List

    “Puerto Rican Subversives List” refers to the work CCR did with the Instituto Puertorriqueño de Derechos Civilies, an organization founded by José Antonio “Abi” Lugo, a former CCR attorney, and other groups, to help secure…

  3. Rasul v. Bush

    The Center for Constitutional Rights began this case in February 2002, shortly after the first detainees were sent to Guantánamo. Representing two Australians—David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib—and two men from the U.K.—Shafiq Rasul and Asif…

  4. Reagan v. Wald

    The restrictions to travel to Cuba were first announced by the Treasury Department on April 20, 1982; the regulations severely limited travel to Cuba by prohibiting travel-related financial transactions.

  5. Republic of the Philippines v. Marcos

    On February 25, 1986, Ferdinand Marcos and his party fled the Philippines, thereby ending his twenty-year dictatorship. Seventy-two hours later, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) was retained by the new government to recover any…

  6. Salas v. United States

    The 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama left an estimated 2,000 civilians dead and 18,000 homeless. The following year, CCR filed a complaint with the Organization of American States (OAS) on behalf of 272 civilian victims,…

  7. Sanchez v. Reagan

    In May 1984, while the International Court of Justice was issuing a preliminary restraining order against the United States for its illegal actions against the government and people of Nicaragua, CCR attorneys were arguing in…

  8. Shenandoah, et al. v. Halbritter

    On February 13, 1996, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and local counsel filed suit on behalf of the Oneida Nation of New York against the U.S. Department of the Interior, charging that the government…

  9. Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain (amicus)

    Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain is a lawsuit against Francisco Sosa for wrongly detaining Dr. Humberto Alvarez-Machain. Mr. Alvarez-Machain charged Sosa and his other captors with violating international norms that prohibit kidnapping, arbitrary arrest, and detention. His…

  10. Soto v. Romero-Barcelo (1983)

    Cerro Maravilla, one of the highest mountains in central Puerto Rico, is the site of most of the island’s communications towers. There, in July 1978, two young supporters of Puerto Rican independence, Carlos Soto Arrivi…

  11. Soubirous v. Riverside (amicus)

    After a narrow election for Riverside County Board of Supervisors in March, 2004, Petitioner Linda Soubirous sought to trigger the state’s recount procedures as permitted under state law. The respondents chose to withhold from Linda…

  12. Stamler v. Willis

    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 questioned the legitimacy of HUAC and its purposes.

  13. State of New York v. Danny White, et al.

    State of New York v. Danny White is a lawsuit challenging New York State’s attempts to evict Mohawk Native Americans from land that had been recognized as their’s in the Treaty of 1784.  It also…

  14. State of North Carolina v. Joan Little

    This widely publicized case raised a variety of political and legal issues, including the question of whether or not a racially representative jury can be impaneled given discrimination against Blacks in selecting potential jurors from…

  15. State of Washington v. Wanrow

    State of Washington v. Wanrow is a lawsuit that challenged the murder conviction of Yvonne Swan Wanrow on the grounds of a woman’s right to self-defense against harm to herself or her child. Yvonne Wanrow, a…

  16. StreetWatch v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak)

    In June 1994, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a federal lawsuit against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, or Amtrak, on behalf of 12 homeless people and several members of StreetWatch, a project of…

  17. Taylor v. Hayes

    Dan Taylor, an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky, represented Narvel Tinsley, Jr., one of two Black men accused of killing two white police officers. On October 29, 1970, after the jury returned its verdict, Judge John…

  18. The Nation Magazine v. Department of Defense

    In The Nation Magazine v. Department of Defense, The Nation magazine along with the Center for Constitutional Rights charged the DOD with violating the First and Fifth Amendments in its establishment of press pools during…

  19. The Nation v. Haig

    In May 1981, the Reagan administration instituted an embargo on publications of Cuban origin arriving in this country. Subscribers to Granma or any other Cuban periodical could no longer receive even a single copy of…

  20. Thornton v. City of Greenville

    Thornton v. City of Greenville is a lawsuit against the City of Greenville, Mississippi in 1991 that contested the discriminatory election districts of the 1980’s. The release of new census figures every ten years requires…

  21. United States of America v. Osama Awadallah

    United States of America v. Osama Awadallah is a lawsuit in which the Center for Constitutional Rights defended Osama Awadallah against charges of making two false material declarations before a grand jury. CCR maintained that…

  22. United States v. Ahmed Abdel Sattar, et al. (amicus)

    Shock waves rippled through the criminal defense bar when Lynne Stewart, a prominent criminal defense attorney in New York City, was indicted on April 9, 2002, for the crime of providing "material support" to a…

  23. United States v. Banks and Means (Wounded Knee)

    After a nine-month trial, Chief Judge Fred J. Nichols of the Federal District Court of South Dakota dismissed all of charges against Russell Means and Dennis Banks, the two leaders of the American Indian Movement…

  24. United States v. Berkan

    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 sought to appeal their convictions…

  25. United States v. Brett Bursey

    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 regulations in order to keep…