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Doug is a litigator, author, activist, and non-profit entrepreneur. He is CAC’s founder and President. Doug previously founded Community Rights Counsel (CRC), CAC’s predecessor organization, and directed CRC for more than a decade before CAC’s launch. In 2011, the National Law Journal recognized Doug as a “legal visionary” for CAC’s success in “reclaiming the Constitution for the legal left.”
Doug has represented clients in state and federal appellate courts around the country and has co-authored more than two dozen briefs filed before the U.S. Supreme Court, representing clients including the National Governors Association, the National League of Cities, the League of Women Voters, the American Judicature Society, and many of the nation’s preeminent constitutional scholars.
Doug is regularly called on to speak as an expert on a wide range of legal topics. He has been quoted in more than 500 national news stories, appeared on television dozens of times, and been an on-air guest on NPR more than a dozen times. His commentary has run in The New Republic, Slate, and dozens of major papers, including The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Times. Doug contributes regularly to Huffington Post, where his commentary on legal developments is regularly featured on the site’s homepage. Doug is the co-author of three books, and the lead author of numerous book chapters, reports, and studies. His academic writings have appeared in scholarly journals, including the Virginia Law Review.Doug received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia.
To view a list of Doug's writings, speeches and publications, click here.
Judith is Vice President of Constitutional Accountability Center. Prior to joining CAC, Judith served as the Legal Director of People For the American Way, where she focused on constitutional and civil rights issues, federal and state legislative activity, and judicial nominations. Judith has a particular expertise in First Amendment issues and has litigated numerous cases involving religious liberty and the separation of church and state. Previously, Judith was a partner at Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin and a law clerk for Chief Judge Joseph S. Lord, III of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judith has served as a member of the District of Columbia Bar’s Task Force on Sexual Orientation and the Legal Workplace, and as a mediator in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She has also served on the boards of directors of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Women's Legal Defense Fund (now the National Partnership for Women and Families). Judith is a recipient of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Attorney Appreciation Award, the Whitman-Walker Clinic Gene Frey Memorial Award for Community Service, and the Women's Legal Defense Fund Volunteer Attorney Award. Judith has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide and been quoted frequently in the print media. She has blogged for Huffington Post and other sites and her writings have been published in USA Today, Congress Monthly, the National Council of Jewish Women Journal and various other publications. Judith received her J.D. from Yale Law School and her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and she was a Winston Churchill Scholar at Cambridge University.
Elizabeth is Constitutional Accountability Center’s chief counsel, representing the Center as well as clients including preeminent constitutional scholars and historians, state and local government organizations, and groups such as the League of Women Voters and the AARP. She frequently participates in Supreme Court litigation and her legal brief writing has been recognized as “exemplary” by the Green Bag Almanac & Reader. Elizabeth has also argued several important cases in the federal courts of appeals on a range of issues, including immigration law, habeas corpus, and sovereign immunity. She joined CAC from private practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco, where she was an attorney working with former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan in the firm’s Supreme Court/appellate practice. Previously, Elizabeth was a supervising attorney and teaching fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center appellate litigation clinic, a law clerk for Judge James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and a lawyer at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, a law firm in Washington. She has appeared as a legal expert for NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox News, the BBC, Current TV, and NPR, among other outlets. Elizabeth has been quoted extensively in the print media and is a regular contributor to the ABA’s Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, Politico, CNN.com, Slate, and on numerous political and legal blogs, such as Huffington Post, SCOTUSblog, and ACSblog. She has also published in the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, Syracuse Law Review, The Cato Institute’s Supreme Court Review, and the Yale Journal of International Law. Elizabeth is a graduate of Yale Law School.
David joined CAC after serving as Program Director of Cardozo Law School's Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy, and as an attorney with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where he worked with Bert Neuborne on appellate briefs in constitutional cases involving the First Amendment and voting rights. Previously, David was an Acting Assistant Professor at NYU School of Law and practiced law at Emery Cuti Brinckerhoff & Abady, PC, where he litigated a wide range of constitutional and civil rights cases. David has also served as an attorney fellow for the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy and as a law clerk for the Hon. Rosemary Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. He is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he served as an editor on the Yale Law Review. His academic writings have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Boston University Law Review, the Emory Law Journal, the George Washington Law Review. Before receiving his law degree, David worked as a paralegal for the American Civil Liberties Union, where he helped Kathryn Kolbert prepare the briefs and argument in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In 1993, David and Ms. Kolbert co-authored an article in the Temple Law Review titled "Responding to Planned Parenthood v. Casey: Establishing Neutrality Principles in State Constitutional Law." David received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University.
Doug is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Press Secretary. Prior to joining CAC, Doug served as Assistant Director of Communications for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as well as Media Relations Director for American Rights at Work. Doug’s writing has appeared in several outlets including the Cincinnati Enquirer, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Doug’s work includes having helped manage the gun control movement’s response to the massacre at Virginia Tech – which sustained the most fatalities by a single shooter in American history – as well as the media strategy around the landmark Second Amendment cases District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. Doug is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in linguistics (high honors).
Before joining Constitutional Accountability Center, Si was Public Policy Counsel to the National Senior Citizen Law Center. Si served as Associate Director of President Jimmy Carter’s White House Domestic Policy Staff (1977-81), as a partner in Powell, Goldstein, Frazer, and Murphy LLP (1981-2002), and as Senior Counsel to Sidley Austin LLP (2002-2006). He is a Trustee of the Center for Law and Social Policy and a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States. His articles have appeared in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, The American Prospect, Roll Call, Slate, The Hill, Newsweek/ Daily Beast, Politico, The New Republic, the Huffington Post, as well as law reviews. Si writes frequently for the American Constitution Society’s ACS Blog and has published several ACS issue briefs, including “Mandatory Health Insurance: Is It Constitutional?”, which was released during the Senate health care reform debate in December 2009, and "The Health Reform Lawsuits: Unraveling a Century of Constitutional Law and the Fabric of Modern Government," published in February 2011. His Atlantic article, “The Most Dangerous Branch?”, has been republished in two anthologies, The Best American Political Writing 2003 Royce Flippin, ed. (Avalon Press 2003), and Principles and Practice of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2d ed., Samuel Kernell and Steven S. Smith, eds. (CQ Press 2003). He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was Note & Comment Editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Tom is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Message Director and Counsel. Prior to joining CAC, Tom served as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Previously, Tom served as a law clerk for the Hon. Thomas Ambro on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Tom is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was a Projects Editor for the Yale Law Journal, a Coker Fellow for Dean Robert Post, and Student Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Clinic. While at Yale, Tom also received the Judge William E. Miller Prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. Tom’s academic writings have appeared in the Yale Law Journal and the Wisconsin Law Review, among other law journals, and he has written popular pieces for the Washington Post and the Hill. Before receiving his law degree, Tom worked as an analyst at the Mellman Group, a polling firm. Tom received his B.A., summa cum laude, in Government and Philosophy from Georgetown University.
Kanessa is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Office Manager. Kanessa has more than 18 years of experience in the administrative field and utilizes her vast experience to handle the day to day operations of our office. Prior to joining CAC, Kanessa worked as the Senior Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Policy & Development for Amtrak.
Emily is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Communications and Policy Associate. Previously, Emily served as Communications Director for Congressman Bart Gordon (D-TN) and as shared staff to the House Committee on Science and Technology during the 111th Congress. She has also served on seven campaigns around the country at the statewide, congressional and municipal levels, in press staff and strategic consulting roles. Emily received her B.A. in Government and Film with major honors from Claremont McKenna College.
Kelly is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Opinion Shop Director. Before joining CAC, Kelly held a variety of communications and research positions in Washington, D. C. She began her career at The Brookings Institution, and then moved to the Alliance for Justice where, as Press Secretary, she worked on a number of high profile legal advocacy issues including judicial nominations, political speech, and habeas corpus protections. After leaving AFJ, Kelly worked to increase voter engagement among unmarried women and other underrepresented members of the electorate, and then served as Communications Director for iCivics, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s civic learning initiative, where she found herself writing speeches for and traveling the country with the Justice to promote civic knowledge. Kelly has also served as a communications consultant, providing expert speechwriting, writing, and editing for a number of nonprofit clients. Her words on behalf of others and herself have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Huffington Post, the American Bar Association’s Judges’ Journal, and even a TED Talk, among other outlets. Kelly has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Carleton College.
Brianne is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Appellate Counsel. Brianne joined CAC from private practice at O'Melveny & Myers (OMM), where she was Counsel in the firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice. From 2009-11, prior to joining OMM, Brianne was an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. She also served as a law clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, a law clerk for Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and a law clerk for Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Brianne’s academic writings have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Duke Law Journal, the Northwestern University Law Review, the American University Law Review, and the Yale Law & Policy Review. Brianne received her J.D. from Yale Law School and her M.A./B.S. from Emory University. Her master's thesis in political science examined judicial behavior on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mei-Wah is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Development and Research Manager, and previously served as CAC’s Research Associate. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. Prior to joining CAC, Mei-Wah was the Paralegal Supervisor for the Federal Defenders of New York, where she assisted in the defense of indigent individuals charged with federal crimes and oversaw the organization’s paralegal program. Mei-Wah previously worked on civic engagement issues, both as an intern for the Open Democracy Advice Centre in Cape Town, South Africa and for the Human Services Coalition of Dade County.
Joey is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Opinion Shop Associate. He received his B.A. from Amherst College, where he had a dual major in United States History and Astrophysics. Prior to joining CAC, Joey worked as a regional field officer on a New York City mayoral campaign. He has also held internships in the NASA Headquarters Office of Communications and in the D.C. office of Congressman Howard Berman of California. Previously, Joey worked as an inmate tutor and teaching assistant in the Hampshire County Jail’s education department.
Elisabeth is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Policy Counsel. Prior to joining CAC, Elisabeth was Federal Relations Counsel for the American Association for Justice, where she focused on constitutional rights, civil procedure, consumer protection, and civil justice. At AAJ, she also helped respond to proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure limiting access to the courts. Elisabeth also spent several years working on Capitol Hill, first as Judiciary Counsel to Congressman Henry C. “Hank” Johnson and then as Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, where she developed expertise in access to justice issues and courts policy. From 2005-2008, Elisabeth was in private practice at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Elisabeth received her J.D from New York University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
Kristy is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Research and Administrative Associate. Prior to joining CAC, Kristy worked as a pro bono and appellate legal assistant at Sidley Austin LLP, primarily managing in forma pauperis Supreme Court cases on behalf of the Northwestern Law School Supreme Court Practicum, managing the Practicum itself, and performing research for Supreme Court amicus briefs for organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Kristy also assisted attorneys in federal appeals, numerous D.C. Bar pro bono cases, and community outreach activities. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, where she triple majored in Political Science, Sociology, and Women’s Studies.
Doug is the Constitutional Accountability Center’s founder and President.
Eldie is the Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Amtrak. Previously, Eldie was a partner of the Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray, where her practice included federal and state employment and environmental litigation, patent and antitrust cases and tax, business and civil rights litigation. From 1993 to 2001, Eldie served as Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, where her primary responsibilities included managing the Department's role in President Clinton’s judicial nominations process and managing the Department’s policy office.
Akhil is the Southmayd Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School. He received his B.A, summa cum laude, in 1980 from Yale College, and his J.D. in 1984 from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of The Yale Law Journal. After clerking for Judge Stephen Breyer, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, Professor Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985.
After a long and successful career as the owner and CEO of a 200-employee design and manufacturing company in St. Louis, Fred founded Sage Consultants, LLC in 2003 to advise non-profit organizations on management, development and governance issues. He spent the first five years of his retirement career working for the Open Society Institute and has advised the Constitutional Accountability Center and its predecessor organization, Community Rights Counsel, since 2006, first as a management consultant and, since January 2011, as a member of CAC’s Board. Throughout his life, Fred has volunteered a substantial portion of his time to progressive and civic organizations: thirteen years on the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Past President of the ACLU’s Eastern Missouri Affiliate and Co-Chair of its National Development Council. Fred has also chaired the Desegregation Monitoring Committee for the U.S. District Court overseeing the St. Louis public schools in the 1980s, was a Board Member of the Missouri Capital Punishment Resource Center, and founded a non-profit child care center at his company’s headquarters. Fred is a graduate of M.I.T., and has taught atomic physics at Washington University.
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of CAC Board Member Fred Epstein on September 10, 2014. Fred’s advice and guidance in transforming Constitutional Accountability Center from idea to reality were invaluable, first as a consultant and, for the last five years, as a Board Member. Fred was a champion of liberty and the Constitution, and a devoted friend and mentor. We will miss him greatly. Thank you, Fred. Rest in peace.
Peter is a partner in the law firm of Ropes & Gray, where he is head of the firm’s Corporate Department and co-head of its Colleges & Universities practice. Peter worked at Ropes & Gray from 1981 to 1993 as a corporate transactional and securities lawyer, becoming a partner in 1990. He left Ropes & Gray in 1993 to serve as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice. In 1996-97, Peter was an Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton, working in the White House Counsel’s office.
Jim is Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a position he has held since September 2013. For 15 years prior to joining Harvard, Jim was a law professor at the University of Virginia, where he also served for five years as the Academic Associate Dean. Jim has taught courses on constitutional law and Supreme Court litigation (among other subjects), and has received a number of awards for his teaching and his scholarship.
Walter is currently the Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law at Duke University and head of the appellate practice at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. He also leads Harvard Law School's Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Clinic. He served as the acting United States Solicitor General for the 1996-1997 Term of the Supreme Court. Prior to his appointment as acting Solicitor General, Walter was an Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel under President Bill Clinton.
Jack is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School. Jack received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Cambridge University, and his A.B. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University. He served as a clerk for Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jack writes political and legal commentary at the weblog Balkinization.