American Constitution Society


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Selected highlights from the American Constitution Society profile:

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is a Washington, DC-based think tank claiming to have approximately 22,000 affiliates nationwide—mostly law students, law professors, practicing attorneys, and judges. In addition to its student chapters at some 165 law schools across the United States, the organization also maintains professional chapters in 30 cities.

ACS was officially co-founded by Walter E. Dellinger III (who served as Bill Clinton’s Solicitor General in 1996-97) and Peter J. Rubin (a Georgetown law professor who was counsel to Al Gore in the two Supreme Court cases involving the Florida presidential recount controversy in 2000). Dellinger and Rubin launched ACS on July 30, 2001, with the stated goal of countering the influence of the Federalist Society, whose conservative views were allegedly corrupting young minds in law schools from coast to coast….

ACS aggressively recruits and indoctrinates young law students, with the ultimate objective of helping them rise to positions of power within the legal system—and thereby dragging all of American jurisprudence further to the political left….

While condemning what it calls “judicial activism” by conservative judges, ACS in fact encourages judicial activism by the left. To cultivate such a spirit, the organization has initiated a working group under the heading “Constitutional Interpretation and Change,” which seeks to “debunk” the “neutral-sounding theories of … originalism and strict construction” that “ideological conservatives” purportedly have used to smear “judges with whom they disagree as judicial activists who make up law instead of interpreting it.” …

ACS’s “Criminal Justice” working group produces and disseminates reports founded on the premise that “racial inequality permeates the [justice] system from arrest through sentencing.” …

In June 2008, ACS Board of Advisors member Eric Holder, whom president-electBarack Obama would name as his top choice for Attorney General five months later, spoke at an ACS convention. Predicting an Obama victory in the November election, Holder told his audience that the U.S. would soon be “run by progressives.” “With this new administration that will be taking its place in January of 2009,” he elaborated, “… we are going to be looking for people who share our values.” A “substantial number of those people” were likely to be ACS members, added Holder.

A December 11, 2008 New York Times piece reported: “[O]bservers expect that the Obama team will turn to [ACS] members to fill subcabinet positions and judgeships.” By that time, a number of major ACS figures already had secured positions in the forthcoming Obama administration….

One particularly influential former member of the ACS Board of Advisors, Hillary Clinton, was named to be President Obama’s Secretary of State in December 2008.

For the entire American Constitution Society profile, click here.