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Ginny Sloan
Virginia E. Sloan founded The Constitution Project in 1997 and is now its President and serves on its Board of Directors. Ms. Sloan previously served as Executive Director of the Task Force on Gender, Race and Ethnic Bias of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. For 14 years, she was a counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, including several years as counsel to the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights.

The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at

Entries by Ginny Sloan

An Algorithm Cannot Protect Constitutional Rights

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2016 | 3:36 PM

In an effort to bring more standardized decision-making to our criminal justice system, many courts have turned to "risk assessment tools" to determine whether and under what conditions an accused should be released before trial. But, as a new, in-depth report by ProPublica shows (and what many, including...

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Governor McAuliffe's Plan to Hide Source of Lethal Injection Drugs a Bad Idea

(5) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 5:23 PM

Recently, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe amended a bill passed by the legislature that would mandate the use of the electric chair as the default method of execution if the state were unable to obtain the necessary drugs for lethal injection. Governor McAuliffe proposed instead to enlist compounding pharmacies to manufacture...

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Justice Requires an Independent Federal Public Defender

(1) Comments | Posted March 29, 2016 | 4:18 PM

While many Americans have been absorbed in the presidential race, I have been glued to my computer watching hearings of the Judicial Conference of the United States' Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Program, which is intended to secure the right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment...

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The President Should Veto Cybersurveillance Legislation

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 3:30 PM

Reacting to data breaches that have compromised the security of hundreds of millions of Americans in the last year alone, Congress understandably is once again looking to take action to enhance cybersecurity. Enhancing cybersecurity is important--and Congress should take meaningful steps to protect cyberspace. But the Senate's Cybersecurity...

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Pretrial Justice Demands Accused Have a Lawyer for Initial Bail Hearing

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 11:27 AM

It's official. President Obama and many members of Congress, both Republican and Democratic, agree that our criminal justice system needs a massive overhaul. While this is a truly exciting moment for criminal justice reform advocates, the bipartisan call for changes in the law often overlooks the critical role of counsel...

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Watchdog Group Names Leahy and Paul as "Constitutional Champions"

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 2:53 PM

Scholars and political pundits have long bemoaned the partisanship that pervades our politics, and the use of the Constitution to seek policy changes. Now, acrimony seems to have seeped into every part of the political process. Some observers blame the corrupting influence of campaign cash, others...

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Twitter: The Constitution Project's 2015 Constitutional Champion

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 6:29 PM

Nearly two years ago, as a result of a series of stories based on classified documents that Edward Snowden leaked to the media, America and the world became aware of the extent of the National Security Agency's massive surveillance apparatus. We also learned that the government had compelled...

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What is the US Government Trying to Hide on Guantanamo Force-Feeding?

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 7:01 AM

On December 7, the United States transferred six detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to Uruguay. One of those detainees was Abu Wa'el Dhiab. While mercifully now free -- he had been cleared for transfer for years -- Mr. Dhiab leaves behind a lasting impression, quite literally: 32 videotapes...

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Court Misses Opportunity to Rule on Lethal Injection Secrecy

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 3:55 PM

On Tuesday night, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Texas' scheduled execution of Robert Campbell. The court based its stay on evidence of Campbell's intellectual disability, which Texas prosecutors knew of, but failed to disclose to Campbell's attorneys.

A day earlier, the Fifth Circuit had...

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Criminal Discovery Reformers Honored as Constitutional Champions

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 12:42 PM

In April 2009, less than six months after a jury found Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) guilty of making false statements, a federal judge set aside that guilty verdict and dismissed all charges against him. The judge in the case felt compelled to take these extraordinary measures...

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Watchdog Group Calls AP's Pruitt a "Constitutional Champion"

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 7:58 AM

Because of his strong leadership against government intimidation of the media, The Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal watchdog group, is honoring Gary Pruitt, the President and CEO of the Associated Press, as one of its 2014 Constitutional Champions. Pruitt will receive the award at TCP's annual gala on...

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Will More Video Surveillance Cameras Make Us Any Safer?

(13) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 6:04 PM

In the wake of the Boston marathon bombing, Boston Police Commissioner Davis has called for more surveillance cameras, and press accounts report new calls for cameras from Richmond, Virginia to San Francisco. Mayor Emmanuel has said Chicago will keep adding cameras, and Mayor Bloomberg is warning New York City residents...

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House Cybersecurity Bill Threatens Privacy and Civil Liberties

(1) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 12:35 PM

President Obama recently stated that "the cyber threat to our nation is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face." This past fall, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned of a "cyber Pearl Harbor," an attack on our nation's critical infrastructure that...

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Senate Should Not Rubber Stamp Foreign Surveillance Extension

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 2:11 PM

This week, the Senate is expected to vote on extension of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). This is the law that was passed in 2008 to legalize a form of the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless wiretapping program. Unless Congress renews it, it will expire on December 31.


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New Cybersecurity Bill Provides Significantly Improved Privacy Safeguards

(3) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 7:38 PM

Last Thursday, Senators Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, Feinstein, and Carper introduced a new version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 3414), designed to protect America's computer networks from hackers and other cyber attacks. In his op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal, President Obama calls for immediate...

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Raising Arizona: Supreme Court's Immigration Decision Creates More Questions Than It Answers

(15) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 4:01 PM

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Arizona v. United States, a closely watched case in which the federal government challenged Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB 1070. The decision and its impact has since been dissected in both legal and media circles. Perhaps more than anything,...

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Justice Department Should 'Step Up' on Flawed Forensic Evidence

(5) Comments | Posted May 18, 2012 | 12:53 PM

Last month, a series of investigative reports in the Washington Post revealed that a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) task force had spent nine years reviewing cases in which it was alleged that some forensic evidence prosecutors used in obtaining convictions was flawed. Despite warnings that problems were potentially widespread,...

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Congress Must Act to End Prosecutorial Misconduct

(5) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 11:41 AM

When federal prosecutors charged the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) with failing to report more than $250,000 in illegal gifts and home renovations, they knew the stakes were sky high. Stevens, after all, was only the 11th senator in history to be indicted while in office. In 2008, the prosecutions...

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Obama Must Veto Defense Authorization Bill

(87) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 3:04 PM

Policymaking in the fog of war can lead to regrettable choices. One need only consider the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II or passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Ten years ago, in the anxious days after the attacks of 9/11, we witnessed a rush to...

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Proposed Legislation Providing Consular Access Holds Lives in the Balance

(4) Comments | Posted June 14, 2011 | 4:24 PM

Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Consular Notification Compliance Act, a long-awaited bill aimed at protecting the consular access rights of foreign nationals in U.S. custody who are charged or convicted of capital crimes. The act provides for judicial review of alleged violations of Article 36 of...

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