LITIGATION

» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and the Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights

Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment

Additional Resources

About Us
Case List
Recent News Alerts
Recent Publications


SUPREME COURT
ASSISTANCE PROJECT

Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.

 

Courting Change: The Story of the Public Citizen Litigation Group

Rising out of the idealism and activism of the 1960s was a group of young, progressive lawyers who banded together to take on the power structure at a time when public interest litigation was in its infancy. They formed the Public Citizen Litigation Group and proceeded to rack up ground-breaking court victories. They pried loose secret government records such as documents involving the FBI's COINTELPRO program, which spied on U.S. citizens. They challenged price-fixing by the legal profession. They fought for First Amendment rights. They waged war against President Reagan's attack on protective regulations. They won stronger safeguards for workers exposed to toxic chemicals. They took on corrupt union officials as well as big corporations like the airlines, automakers and pharmaceutical companies.

Courting Change tells the story of the legal team that made history by challenging power at the highest levels-who forced Congress and the president to abide by the separation of powers principle of the U.S. Constitution in cases involving the legislative veto, the Gramm-Rudman Act and President Nixon's illegal impoundment of funds appropriated by Congress.

The story of the Litigation Group is a story of legal ingenuity, shoestring budgets and remarkable achievement-forty-seven cases argued before the Supreme Court and more than three hundred Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. The Public Citizen Litigation Group, founded by Alan Morrison and Ralph Nader, continues to wage its cutting-edge legal crusades today.

This 400-page volume, the fourth book about American politics and law by former Wesleyan University government professor Barbara Hinkson Craig, encompasses the Litigation Group's first fifteen years, as its lawyers took the stage for some of the period's most momentous legal and political battles. In an afterword, Morrison writes of the Litigation Group's work in the ensuing years.

Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.