The work of The Constitution Project (TCP) is centered on answering three broad questions: 1) how can we maintain public safety while ensuring that our government exercises its law enforcement, national security and immigration powers in a fair, humane and constitutional manner?; 2) how do we safeguard personal information, privacy and First Amendment rights that are increasingly affected by rapid technological innovations?; and 3) how can we make government more open and accountable?.
Many of the issues we examine – our inability to provide competent counsel to criminal defendants unable to afford lawyers; a death penalty system that too often risks convicting the wrong people, including those who are innocent; erosion of privacy rights and civil liberties in a post-9/11 world; and the indefinite detention without charge of terrorism suspects – are front-page news. But many more of the issues we examine don’t receive the public attention they deserve – protecting the rights of aid organizations whose lawful work has been criminalized; seeking reform of sentencing laws that fail to provide due process and are racially disproportionate; advocating that our laws be updated to ensure that modern communications technologies are still covered by constitutional safeguards; and scrutinizing the fallout of “tough on crime and terrorism” policies.
On these and so many other constitutional issues, TCP and its staff are compelled to act, whether the issue directly affects the rights of all citizens or primarily involves the rights of individuals on the margins of our society. We accomplish our mission with the help of renowned experts and practitioners from across the political and ideological spectrum who provide us with invaluable guidance as members of TCP’s committees of experts, its diverse and authoritative Boards of Directors and Policy Advisors, and the many law firms and legal scholars who advise and support our work.