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Doug Kendall
Doug is the founder and President of Constitutional Accountability Center (fomerly Community Rights Counsel), a think tank, law firm and action center based in Washington, DC that is dedicated to the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history. Doug has co-authored more than two dozen Supreme Court briefs and represented a long list of clients in constitutional cases in courts around the country and before the U.S. Supreme Court. His commentary has appeared in The New Republic, Slate, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA today and numerous other news outlets. He also blogs frequently on Constitutional Accountability Center's blog Text and History (, available through CAC's website, He blogs here in his personal capacity.

Entries by Doug Kendall

Senate Resolution Celebrating Second Founding Is Just the Beginning

(4) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 2:28 PM

Last week, in a remarkable act of bipartisan statesmanship, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Mike Lee joined together to guide the U.S.A. Freedom Act (a trimmed down version of the so-called Patriot Act) to passage over the objection of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This strange bedfellows pairing continued last...

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Carvin's Cornhusker Quandary in King

(12) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 2:52 PM

On Wednesday, as part of a brief filed by my organization, Constitutional Accountability Center, in King v. Burwell on behalf of state and federal legislators -- including Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi -- we dropped a bit of a bombshell. In their...

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Scott Walker Exposes the Fiction Behind King v. Burwell

(16) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 3:52 PM

Coauthored by Joey Meyer

Despite all the rhetoric against Obamacare, conservative governors and state officials aren't exactly lining up to join the latest Supreme Court challenge designed to gut the Affordable Care Act. This weekend, the New York Times reported that only a meager six state attorneys general...

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When Going Nuclear Makes Sense

(10) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 8:41 PM

The Senate’s confirmation of Pamela Harris to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today is yet another indication of how vital and necessary the invocation of the “nuclear option” was for the maintenance of a capable and efficient federal judiciary. The Senate rules change in November...

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A Big Finish for the Corporate Court

(15) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 3:41 PM

Following last week's victory by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in NLRB v. Noel Canning and today's devastating rulings in Harris v. Quinn and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, two things are absolutely clear about this Supreme Court Term. One, it's once again been a very good Term for the Chamber....

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The Supreme Court's Latest Greenhouse-gas Ruling Is a 97 Percent Victory for the Environment

(2) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 11:14 AM

One doesn't typically associate Justice Antonin Scalia with environmental victories, but Monday's Supreme Court decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency ("UARG") is just that, albeit with caveats we'll address below.

Let's start with the good news. In a 7-2 opinion written by Scalia -- and joined...

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The Vote That Will Change America

(926) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 12:39 PM

Minutes ago -- and following the Republican filibuster of three important judicial nominees -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Democratic colleagues finally "went nuclear," changing the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for executive branch appointees and all judicial appointees except those to the Supreme Court. While the...

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Give Patricia Millett the Pay Cut She Deserves

(4) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 10:19 AM

Fights over judicial nominations are hardy perennials. The politics around them can become dispiriting. So it is important to remember that beneath the political warfare, there are often unbelievably talented human beings, without any ideological agenda, who are willing to take massive pay cuts and subject themselves to the grueling...

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Profiles in Cowardice: Conservatives, Eminent Domain and Civil Rights in the Mount Holly Case

(7) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 1:29 PM

In December, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an important case out of Mount Holly, New Jersey, that involves Fair Housing Act (FHA) claims in the context of an effort by Mount Holly Township to use eminent domain to redevelop its only predominately minority community -- and in the...

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Elizabeth Warren Is Right

(269) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 6:29 PM

If you haven't watched Senator Elizabeth Warren's recent address to the AFL-CIO Convention, you should. Senator Warren occupies the Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy, and she is quickly proving herself to be a worthy successor, speaking powerfully to the concerns of economic justice that dominated Senator...

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The Next Nuclear Test

(2) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 10:33 AM

Bipartisanship broke out in Washington last week. Thanks to a bit of statesmanship by senators including John McCain (R-AZ), the Senate confirmed several of President's Obama's longest-waiting Executive Branch nominees and thereby made it unnecessary for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to carry out a change to Senate rules to...

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A 'Pack' of Nonsense

(15) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 11:50 AM

On a picture perfect day earlier this week, President Obama nominated Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard, and Judge Robert Wilkins to fill the three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. This was an important moment for the Obama...

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Big Business and the Roberts Court

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 5:37 PM

Co-authored with Tom Donnelly

Last week, the Supreme Court wrapped up its final arguments in what has so far been a monumental term. Understandably, most commentators have focused on the blockbuster civil rights cases on the Court's docket - cases addressing affirmative action, voting rights, and marriage equality. However, the...

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The Scalia Court and Voting Rights, Part 2

(122) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 12:14 PM

With Justice Antonin Scalia's controversial statement that the Voting Rights Act represents the "perpetuation of racial entitlement" continuing to reverberate across the media landscape, it's hard to believe that the Supreme Court is poised to hear another seminal challenge to a federal law protecting Americans' right to vote....

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The Constitutional Case for Marriage Equality

(662) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 11:10 AM

The Cato Institute and Constitutional Accountability Center don't always agree politically, but we both pride ourselves in following where the Constitution leads. Several years ago, that led us to argue together for the enforcement of the right to keep and bear arms against state laws. It leads us this week...

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The No Good, Very Bad Week of Hans von Spakovsky

(14) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 4:07 PM

If you've followed the conservative attack on voting rights over the past year, you know that the Heritage Foundation's Hans von Spakovsky has emerged as one of the right's most visible spokesmen. With the Supreme Court poised to hear a conservative-led attack on the constitutionality of the Voting...

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Too Rich to Lose Money? AIG, the Takings Clause and the Roberts Court

(22) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 9:51 AM

Co-authored by Tom Donnelly

The Takings Clause of the Constitution's Fifth Amendment made national news last week with the spectacle of AIG playing Hamlet in debating whether "to sue, or not to sue" the federal government over the terms of the company's bailout -- a rather backhanded way of thanking...

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While Politicians Run, Conservative Judges Stand for Voting Rights

(31) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 2:32 PM

In a speech at the John F. Kennedy Library last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made an impassioned case for the present amd continuing need for the Voting Rights Act, in particular the Act's Section 5, saying," "This provision has consistently enjoyed broad, bipartisan support...

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Defending the Voting Rights Act From Its Conservative Critics

(22) Comments | Posted December 3, 2012 | 10:41 AM

In a condescending but shallow response to a Huffington Post piece written last week by my colleague Emily Phelps and me, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto accuses us of appealing to "emotion" and wallowing in "nostalgia for the heroism of the civil rights movement half...

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The Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court and the Life of Lawrence Guyot

(44) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 10:38 AM

If medals were awarded for bravery and injuries sustained in the war over civil rights and voting rights, then Lawrence Guyot, who died this weekend, would have been one of our most decorated veterans.

The New York Times' obituary chronicles some of his harrowing experiences:


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