A New Constitutional Vision

The Brennan Center plays a central, critical role in the drive for a renewed democracy and justice system. Our goal: To advance a robust vision of the Constitution as a charter for a thriving democracy. Bold policy reform must be supported by a long-term effort to shift legal doctrine. That is why we lead an ambitious new initiative to develop and articulate a compelling progressive jurisprudence for the 21st century.

This starts with our multi-year drive to promote a new constitutional framework that allows for the reasonable regulation of money in politics.  Following Citizens United in 2010, we convened what The New York Times called an “A-list” of First Amendment scholars to begin to chip away at the ruling’s foundations, which led to our publication “Money, Politics, and the Constitution: Beyond Citizens United,” the first major book to assess the constitutional way forward.  Last May, shortly after McCutcheon was decided, we built upon this work with a two-day gathering of academics and practitioners who were challenged to develop a new jurisprudential framework for regulating money in politics.  Entitled Money in Politics 2030: Toward a New Jurisprudence, this gathering resulted in a collection of essays memorializing and extending these conversations, and a series of blog responses.

The Center also holds numerous public events centered on the Constitution. Created in 1996, our annual Brennan Center Jorde Symposium sponsors top scholarly discourse and writing from a variety of perspectives on issues that were central to the legacy of Justice Brennan. Our Living Constitution Lecture series brings together thinkers and policymakers to further understanding of the Constitution and its role in a changing world.

The Brennan Center forges new doctrines not only in the halls of academia, but in the active fight for justice. We play the lead legal role in defending the integrity of our elections, coordinating the legal strategy to defend voting rights, working with civil rights and voting rights allies. Through lawsuits, advocacy, and research, we have protected voting rights for hundreds of thousands of Americans. We also insist on a fair and impartial judiciary, working hard to protect the courts from the influx of special interest spending that threatens to overwhelm judicial selection in the states.

By developing this kind of progressive legal scholarship, the Brennan Center has real impact in the academy, in legal practice and jurisprudence, and in the public debate on policy issues.