Created out of the belief that we must cast aside the labels that divide us in order to keep our democracy strong, The Constitution Project brings together policy experts and legal practitioners from across the political spectrum to foster consensus-based solutions to the most difficult constitutional challenges of our time.
TCP seeks to reform the nation’s broken criminal justice system and to strengthen the rule of law through scholarship, advocacy, policy reform and public education initiatives. We undertake original research, develop policy positions, publish reports and statements, file amicus briefs, testify before Congress, and hold regular briefings with legislative staff and other policymakers. TCP’s work has been cited by numerous government agencies, as well as leading law and policy organizations.
TCP was established in 1997 by Virginia “Ginny” Sloan, who continues today as president and a member of its Board of Directors. Concerned about the proliferation of proposals to amend the Constitution in the late nineties, Ms. Sloan reached out to esteemed individuals from the private, non-profit and government sectors, to solicit support for a new initiative to safeguard the constitutional amendment process. A Who’s Who of lawyers, judges, scholars and policymakers—representing a remarkable breadth of ideological and political diversity—agreed to participate, producing a seminal report, “Great and Extraordinary Occasions: Developing Guidelines for Constitutional Change,” which still serves as a primer on the constitutional amendment process. Based on this initial success, we apply that same consensus-based model to a variety of other constitutional issues.
Since that first effort, The Constitution Project has grown from one founder with a vision to a talented team of 14 staff, fellows and interns. These men and women bring credentials from the worlds of government, the law, journalism and the non-profit and business sectors. But the passion to make a constructive difference—whether it involves strengthening access to justice, protecting civil liberties or ensuring governmental transparency and accountability—is the trait common to all. This commitment is shared by the highly-respected members of our bipartisan Board of Directors and Policy Advisory Committee.
Another important member of TCP’s team is Dr. Louis Fisher, who serves as our Scholar-in-Residence. We are privileged to house a comprehensive library of Dr. Fisher’s research and policy analysis on our website. Rounding out our professional family is TCP Supreme Court Fellow, Stephen Vladeck. Professor Vladeck serves in many capacities, including the crucial role of briefing members of Congress on issues of importance to our organization.
The Constitution Project is very grateful to the many private foundations and public charities that have made our vital work possible. We also appreciate the contributions we receive from hundreds of citizens around the nation who believe deeply in our mission. In addition, we enjoy the generous pro bono assistance of law firms in Washington and around the nation. Our policy analyses and recommendations are not influenced or determined by donations we receive.
Now well into its second decade, TCP has forged a national reputation for its truly bipartisan approach to grappling with key constitutional issues confronting Americans in the 21st century.