The Constitutional Amendments Committee

Formerly known as Citizens for the Constitution, the Constitutional Amendments Committee developed TCP’s foundational report urging restraint in the constitutional amendment process. While the Framers recognized the charter might require change from time to time, they believed that our nation’s government must rest on a stable constitutional foundation, and that the amendment process must be reserved (as Madison argued in Federalist No. 49) for “great and extraordinary decisions.”

However, in recent years, constitutional amendment has too often become the favored first-step remedy—among advocates on both the left and the right—for all manner of perceived social ills, frequently dealing with matters of policy that are more appropriately the subject of legislation.  TCP has continued to promote the committee’s recommendations and to counter hurried and poorly developed efforts to tinker with fundamental rights and liberties.

Co-Chairs

Mickey Edwards
Vice President and Director, Aspen Institute; Lecturer Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; former Member of Congress (R-OK), 1977-1993 and Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee

Abner J. Mikva
Schwartz Lecturer and Senior Director, Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, University of Chicago Law School; Member of Congress (D-IL), 1969-1973 and 1975-1979, White House Counsel, 1994-1995, and Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, 1991-1994

Legal Advisor

Louis Michael Seidman
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Members

George Anastaplo
Professor of Law, Loyola University of Chicago; Lecturer in the Liberal Arts, University of Chicago; Professor Emeritus of Political Science and of Philosophy, Dominican University

Walter Berns
Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Derek C. Bok
President Emeritus, Harvard University; Dean Emeritus, Harvard Law School; 300th Anniversary University Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Alan Brinkley
Provost and Allan Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University

John H. Buchanan, Jr.
Member of Congress (R-AL), 1965-1981

Dale Bumpers
Member of Congress (D-AR), 1974-1999; Counsel, Arent Fox LLP; Former Director, Center for Defense Information, 1999-2000

Sheila Burke
Smithsonian Institution, Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer; Executive Dean, 1996-2000 and Lecturer in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Charles Carroll Carter
President Emeritus, Charles Carroll House of Annapolis

Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean University of California, Irvine School of Law

Jesse H. Choper
Earl Warren Professor of Public Law and Dean Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law

Benjamin R. Civiletti
Senior Partner and Past Chair, Venable LLP; Attorney General, 1979-1981

David Cohen
Co-Director, Advocacy Institute

Robert H. Cole
Professor Emeritus of Law, University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law

Robert M. Cooper
Lawyer

James Andrew Courter
Member of Congress (R-NJ), 1979-1991

Michael Davidson
Former Legal Counsel, United States Senate

Drew S. Days III
Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Solicitor General, 1993-1996; ; Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, 1977-1980

Norman Dorsen
Stokes Professor of Law and Co-Director, Arthur Gartfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, New York University School of Law

Peter B. Edelman
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; former Assistant Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, 1995-1996

Don Edwards
Member of Congress (D-CA) 1963-1995; former Chair, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights

Rosemary Freeman
Principal, Director of Public Affairs, Piper Rudnick; Deputy Director, State of Michigan Washington Office under Governor James J. Blanchard,1983-1990

Michael J. Gerhardt
Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law and Director, Center for Law and Government, University of North Carolina School of Law

Leslie K. Glassberg
Crystal Hill Advisors

Ronald Goldfarb
Attorney and author, Washington, D.C.

Jamie S. Gorelick
Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP; Vice Chairwoman, Fannie Mae Foundation, 1997-2003; Deputy Attorney General, 1994-1997

Stephen Hess
Senior Fellow Emeritus, Governmental Studies Program, The Brookings Institution; Distinguished Research Professor of Media and Public Affairs, the George Washington University

Philip Heymann
James Barr Ames Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Deputy Attorney General, 1993-1994

Shirley M. Hufstedler
Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1968; Secretary of Education, 1979-1981

Stanley N. Katz
Professor of Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, Princeton University; President Emeritus, American Council of Learned Societies

Nicholas deB. Katzenbach
Attorney General, 1965-1966

Dr. Lawrence J. Korb
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Senior Advisor, Center for Defense Information; Director of Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, 1998-2002 ; Director, Center for Public Policy Education, the Brookings Institution, 1981-1993

Donald S. Lamm
Chairman, W.W. Norton & Co.

Elliott H. Levitas
Counsel, Kilpatrick Stockton LLP; Member of Congress (D-GA),1975-1985

Thomas E. Mann
Senior Fellow and W. Averell Harriman Chair, Governance Studies Program, the Brookings Institution

Paul Marcus
Haynes Professor of Law and former Acting Dean, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary

Paul McMasters
Former First Amendment Ombudsman, The Freedom Forum, 1995-present

Brenda G. Meister
Partner, DLA Piper; former Director of Congressional and Federal Relations, National Transportation Safety Board and White House Office of Presidential Personnel; former Deputy Director and Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crimes, Department of Justice

Elliot M. Mincberg
Vice President, General Counsel, and Legal Director, People for the American Way Foundation

William H. Minor
Partner, DLA Piper

Newton N. Minow
Senior Counsel, Sidley Austin LLP; former Chair, Federal Communications Commission

Henry P. Monaghan
Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law, Columbia Law School

Alan B. Morrison
Senior Lecturer in Law, Stanford University; Co-Founder, Senior Attorney, and former Director, Public Citizen Litigation Group

Nancy A. Nord
Acting Chairman, Consumer Product Safety Commission; former Director, Federal Government Relations, Eastman Kodak Company; former President, National Republican Lawyers’ Association; former General Counsel, Council on Environmental Quality; former Republican Counsel to House Commerce Committee

Penelope Payne
Former Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs

Robert S. Peck
President, Center for Constitutional Litigation

Jack N. Rakove
W. R. Coe Professor of History and American Studies and Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

Estelle H. Rogers, Esq.
Director, Federation of Women Lawyers

Rabbi David Saperstein
Director and Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Clifford M. Sloan
Vice President and General Counsel, Washington Post Newsweek Interactive; Assistant to the Solicitor General, 1989-1991; Associate Counsel to the President, 1993-1995

Geoffrey R. Stone
Harry Kalven, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago

David A. Strauss
Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

Laurence N. Strenger
CEO, Managing Director and General Counsel, Ampton Investments, Inc.

Kathleen M. Sullivan
Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Dean, Stanford Law School, 1999-2004

Cass R. Sunstein
Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School

Don Wallace, Jr.
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Chairman, International Law Institute

Peter J. Wallison
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; White House Counsel, Reagan administration; General Counsel, Department of the Treasury, Reagan administration

Stephen Wermiel
Associate Director, Program on Law and Government, American University, Washington College of Law; former Supreme Court Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

John H. Zentay
Partner, Piper Rudnick

Former Members

George E. Bushnell Jr. (1999-2002; deceased)
Former President, American Bar Association

James C. Corman (1999-2000; deceased)
Former Member of Congress (D-CA)

John J. Curtin, Jr. (1999-2014; deceased) 
Partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP; President, American Bar Association, 1990-1991

Lloyd N. Cutler (1999-2005; deceased)
Founder, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering; former White House Counsel, Carter and Clinton administrations

Dr. Robert A. Goldwin (1999-2010; deceased)
Resident Scholar and former Director, Constitutional Studies, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Nelson W. Polsby (deceased)
Director, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California at Berkeley

Elliot L. Richardson (1998-1999; deceased)
Retired Partner, Milback, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; Attorney General, Nixon administration

John Seigenthaler (2002-2014; deceased)
Chairman and Founder, The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University; President, American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1988-1989; Administrative Assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, 1960-1961; Founding Editorial Director, USA Today, 1982-1991

Chesterfield H. Smith (1999-2003; deceased)
Partner, Wiley, Rein & Fielding; former Assistant to the Solicitor General; former Associate Counsel to the President, Clinton administration

Daniel Steiner (1999-2006; deceased)
Counsel, Ropes & Gray; former Vice President and General Counsel, Harvard University

Harold R. Tyler, Jr. (1999-2005; deceased)
Deputy Attorney General, Ford administration; former Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; former Co-Chair Miller Commission on Judicial Selection

Ronald H. Weich (resigned February 2009)
Former Chief Cousel, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Former Chief Counsel, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Senate Judiciary Committee (resigned February 2009 to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, United States Department of Justice)

Daniel W. Weil (1999-2006; deceased)
Partner, Chapman & Cutler

Charles Alan Wright (1999-2000; deceased)
Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts, The University of Texas Law School

 

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