The People's Lawyer: The Center for Constitutional Rights and the Fight for Social Justice, from Civil Rights to Guantanamo

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NYU Press, 2011 - Political Science - 202 pages

There is hardly a struggle aimed at upholding and extending therights embedded in the U.S. Constitution in which the Centerfor Constitutional Rights (CCR) has not played a central role, and yet few people have ever heard of it. Whether defendingthe rights of black people in the South, opponents of the war inVietnam and victims of torture worldwide, or fighting illegalactions of the U.S. government, the CCR has stood ready totake on all comers, regardless of their power and wealth. Whenthe United States declared that the Constitution did not applyto detainees at Guantanamo, the CCR waded fearlessly intobattle, its Legal Director declaring, "My job is to defend theConstitution from its enemies. Its main enemies right now arethe Justice Department and the White House."

In this first-ever comprehensive history of one of the most important legal organizations in the United States, the Center forConstitutional Rights, Albert Ruben shows us exactly what itmeans to defend the Constitution. He examines the innovativetactics of the CCR, the ways in which a radical organization isbuilt and nurtured, and the impact that the CCR has had onour very conception of the law. This book is a must-read notonly for lawyers, but for all the rest of us who may one day findour rights in jeopardy.

 

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Contents

1 You Have the Body
7
2 Peoples Lawyer
19
3 We Were Just Winging It
35
4 Kinoy
59
5 Stavis
71
6 Kunstler
85
7 Smith
101
8 Educating
107
9 Strike
121
10 Getting Down to Cases
139
11 Funding
177
12 Docket Report
181
Afterword
187
Index
191
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Albert Ruben is a screen and television writer and has served as an officer of the Writers Guild of America East.

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