Court Cases

The Brennan Center for Justice fights to protect the principles of democracy and justice in federal and state courts across the country. The Center advances a strong vision of the Constitution as a charter for a self-governing democracy, through top-flight litigation and cutting-edge legal advocacy. Throughout our history, the Center has been involved in several major court decisions.

For a complete list of Brennan Center court cases, click here.

Voting Rights & Elections

Nationwide, the Brennan Center’s legal experts have helped protect the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of eligible Americans. In 2012, our efforts overturned curbs on registration drives in Florida helped strike down restrictive voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina, and prevented voter intimidation by political groups at the polls. 

Money in Politics

The Brennan Center helps lead the legal fight for strong campaign finance laws. The Center served as co-lead counsel in the successful defense before the U.S. Supreme Court of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law in McConnell v. FEC (2003). Our advocacy before the Court helped preserve the foundations of voluntary public financing systems in Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett (2011). We are readying a long-term drive to overturn Citizens United v. FEC.

Government & Court Reform

The drive for fair and impartial courts continues in the states where we defend judicial public financing programsdisclosure rules, and more. The Center took the fight to end corruption in the selection of New York State judges to the U.S. Supreme Court in Lopez Torres v. NYS Board of Elections (2008).

Justice for All

Our nation’s promise of “equal justice for all” is the backbone of the Brennan Center’s work in the court room. We fight to ensure every American has a right to an attorney when they go to court. In Velazquez v. LSC (2001), we challenged restrictions on civil legal aid programs that receive some federal funding, which the U.S. Supreme Court found unconstitutional. We also work toward racial justice, participating in the Fisher v. University of Texas (2012) affirmative action case before the Supreme Court.

Liberty & National Security

The Brennan Center seeks national security policies that respect constitutional values and the rule of law while protecting our people. We represent a Muslim group in their quest to build a mosque in their community, and we challenged indefinite military detention by the U.S. in three cases that reached the Supreme Court. The Center also successfully urged the courts to declare warrantless GPS tracking unconstitutional and to hear challenges to warrantless electronic surveillance.

For a complete list of Brennan Center court cases, click here.