Public Citizen’s Supreme Court Assistance Project began in 1990, when Public Citizen Litigation Group’s founder Alan Morrison envisioned a public interest group that could serve as an equalizer in Supreme Court cases, a counterweight to the expertise of the elite private and government lawyers who specialize in Supreme Court practice and often represent clients opposing consumer interests and public interests before the Court. Alan’s idea was to mobilize the Litigation Group’s Supreme Court experience and expertise in a systematic way to assist lawyers in preventing the Court from taking cases that it should not take and in winning cases that the Court does take. The Supreme Court Assistance Project is the result of his vision.
Public Citizen has worked effectively to realize the Project’s aim of providing experienced Supreme Court representation in public interest cases. Since the Project’s founding, our attorneys have drafted more than one hundred oppositions to petitions for certiorari and advised attorneys on hundreds of additional oppositions, scoring quiet victories by helping attorneys who prevailed below to keep their cases out of the Supreme Court. The certiorari process can be daunting even to experienced appellate lawyers. From drafting a brief to providing feedback or answering questions about procedure, we help trial lawyers, public interest attorneys, and others with little Supreme Court experience navigate the cert-stage process. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case, we assist attorneys in writing briefs and preparing for oral argument, including conducting moot courts. During any Supreme Court Term, we are involved, on average, in 20 or more cases in which the Court grants certiorari.
Public Citizen attorneys have argued 64 cases before the Supreme Court and served as lead or co-counsel in scores more. Bringing decades of Supreme Court experience, the Project often provides assistance in cases concerning access to the civil justice system or claims of government misconduct, and in cases in which employees, civil rights claimants, or tort plaintiffs have won significant awards or established important precedents.
If you find yourself with a case that appears to be headed to the Supreme Court and you could use advice— whether procedural or substantive—please contact us.
Supreme Court Assistance Project
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009