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Caroline Fredrickson
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Caroline Fredrickson joined American Constitution Society in July 2009 as Executive Director. Prior to assuming leadership at ACS, she served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, and also as General Counsel and Legal Director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Before that, Caroline was Chief of Staff to Sen. Maria Cantwell and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. During the Clinton administration, she served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. She has been widely published and appears frequently in the media on topics including labor law, anti-discrimination law, and human and civil rights issues. She holds a law degree from Columbia and graduated summa cum laude from Yale.

Entries by Caroline Fredrickson

Not All Working Women Can 'Lean In'

(4) Comments | Posted March 8, 2015 | 2:48 PM

"Opting out" or "leaning in." These seem to be the only two options now under discussion for working women in America, as pronounced most recently by former high-level State Department official, Anne-Marie Slaughter, stating definitively that women "can't have it all" and by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, arguing that what...

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The Parties Can and Should Come Together on Judicial Nominations

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 9:44 AM

Many may despair -- believing the next two years in Washington will be a long slog of tiresome partisan fights with no positive action to improve the lives of Americans. But moping is the last thing progressives should be about.

Let's talk judicial nominations. Federal courts are vital --...

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Woodward v. Alabama: The Deadly Problem of Judicial Elections

(5) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 3:22 PM

On rare occasions, the Supreme Court will publish a dissent on a denial for a writ of certiorari; of those, a few appropriately catch the attention of more than just the most ardent Court watcher. Such a dissent was recently published by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor in Woodward...

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Failing the Sixth Amendment's Promise of Right to Counsel

(5) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 1:19 PM

During a week when many groups and individuals are celebrating the signing of the U.S. Constitution -- September 17 is Constitution Day -- it is appropriate to take note of how far we have fallen short of fulfilling certain fundamental rights promised in our governing document.


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With Liberty and Justice for ... Some

(4) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 3:09 PM

Come 2016, if the Republican Party wants a presidential nominee who is politically brilliant, strategically adroit, ultra-conservative yet fooling some observers into thinking he's a moderate - and has a good-looking family to boot -- there's a surprisingly obvious candidate.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has put to shame...

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We Should Not Be Satisfied Until Full Marriage Equality is Realized

(6) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 12:22 PM

It has to do with "our dignity," being able to be who we are openly. That's what Edith S. Windsor the woman challenging the cramped definition of marriage embedded in the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) said in a documentary about her longtime relationship with Thea Spyer. The two...

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A Little More Regulation Won't Eviscerate the Second Amendment

(70) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 3:45 PM

The recent Senate Judiciary Committee on gun violence did not dwell on the constitutionality of the proposed gun safety measures. That's probably because it is well settled that the individual right to bear arms is not an unlimited one.

In fact, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre did not even mention the...

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Voting Rights Under Fire: Why We Still Need Section 5

(5) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 3:33 PM

They were young African-Americans and supporters of equality marching peacefully from Selma, Ala. to the state's capital to protest the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson by police and the denial of voting rights when they were attacked by scores of state police and others, spewing tear gas beating the protestors...

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Protecting Progressive Policy Requires a Balanced Supreme Court

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 12:34 PM

For years, conservatives have been making courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, a priority on their agenda. Given the Court's 5-4 ideological divide, it's time for progressives to catch up. The Supreme Court and federal courts across the country answer legal questions and determine the fate of policies...

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Challengers Press for Radically Limited Government in Health Care Law Oral Arguments

(11) Comments | Posted March 28, 2012 | 2:49 PM

We've heard this argument before -- a federal law aimed at advancing national interests is actually a threat to liberty. As former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger noted in a recent piece for the Washington Post, challengers to Social Security, to the minimum wage, to laws banning private restaurant...

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Stop Over-the-Top Attacks on the Office of Legal Counsel, and Focus on Governing

(3) Comments | Posted February 2, 2012 | 10:18 AM

The head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Virginia Seitz, a former Rhodes Scholar and clerk for Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, hardly needs a shout-out for her stellar work providing legal advice to the White House. But the attacks leveled against her from Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary...

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Let's Help, Not Hinder, Schools in Teaching the Constitution

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2011 | 11:37 AM

Constitution Day is upon us and in the spirit of a day meant for school officials to spend more time teaching youngsters about the Constitution, my organization, the American Constitution Society, is bringing lawyers and law students to public schools nationwide to teach nonpartisan and objective lessons on...

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Divine Constitutional Abomination

(271) Comments | Posted May 27, 2011 | 6:36 PM

Recent news reports have revealed that the nation's largest Tea Party umbrella group is seeking to infiltrate our public schools with the radical theory that the Constitution is divinely inspired.

The Tea Party "Patriots" are pushing a constitutional curriculum designed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies,

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Keep Politics Out of the Health Care Litigation

(21) Comments | Posted March 24, 2011 | 5:04 PM

It should come as little surprise that attacks on the landmark Affordable Care Act have included every conceivable objection, including constitutional claims. Throughout our history, many of our nation's most significant legislative achievements, including several provisions of the Social Security Act and the minimum wage law, were subjected to similar...

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Broadening Discussion on the Constitution

(5) Comments | Posted January 27, 2011 | 4:05 PM

A teachable moment on the Constitution is being muddied by the extreme, lopsided view being presented to Congress by Tea Partiers, led by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The organization I lead, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), believes that this moment offers...

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How the Judicial Confirmation Crisis Threatens Our Constitution

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2010 | 12:51 PM

The Senate voted Monday to confirm Jane Branstetter Stranch to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, at long last filling a seat on one of our nation's most important courts that had been vacant for two-and-a-half years. This inexcusable delay in Stranch's confirmation highlights a growing problem...

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Justice Suffers As Nominations Languish

(2) Comments | Posted August 2, 2010 | 1:35 PM

The federal courts play a vital role in our democracy, ensuring constitutional rights and principles are protected and providing justice to citizens who have been wronged by discrimination, corporate malfeasance, criminal activities and other transgressions of the rule of law.

Congress also cannot easily take action to help uphold...

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Crack the Disparity Today

(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2009 | 11:16 AM

It's time for Congress to take the unjust, unwarranted laws for crack sentencing off of the books.

Right now, federal law mandates an automatic five-year prison sentence for possession of five grams of crack cocaine and 500 grams of powder cocaine. That's a 100:1 disparity for possession of the identical...

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Reconciling Senator Leahy's Independent Commission Proposal

(1) Comments | Posted February 10, 2009 | 3:04 PM

Yesterday Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, floated the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate Bush administration policies — and perhaps even pre-Bush policies — on warrantless wiretapping and the politicization of the Justice Department among many others. During a speech at...

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Mr. Rove: Nobody is Above the Law

(3) Comments | Posted February 4, 2009 | 4:42 PM

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has subpoenaed former presidential advisor Karl Rove to testify twice on his role in the Bush administration’s politicization of the Department of Justice. Now, if Mr. Rove’s message on the Fox TV show The O’Reilly Factor is to be believed, he plans...

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