The Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection uses strategic legal advocacy to defend constitutional rights and values while working to restore confidence in the integrity of our governmental institutions.
A non-partisan institute within Georgetown University Law Center, ICAP’s experienced attorneys use novel litigation tools, strategic policy development, and the constitutional scholarship of Georgetown to vindicate individuals’ rights and protect our democratic processes. In an era of politically polarized discourse, ICAP offers vital understandings of the Constitution that draw on a wide range of practical experience, including extensive service in the federal government.
At the heart of ICAP is our litigation, as the courts remain a critical venue for the vindication of constitutional rights. ICAP collaborates with a wide array of litigation partners across the country, including non-profits, law firms, and governmental entities, focused on protecting constitutional rights. Our recent casework includes:
- Safeguarding rights to free expression, assembly, and democratic participation;
- Combating threats from unlawful private militias and political violence;
- Fighting the criminalization of poverty and other forms of criminal legal system overreach;
- Defending the rights of young people and marginalized communities; and
- Preserving fundamental separation-of-powers principles.
Constitutional dialogue also occurs outside the courts and in the public square. ICAP uses public education to inform and elevate that dialogue, empowering the community with vital understandings of the Constitution based on history, text, and precedent. Through direct engagement with the public in sponsored events as well as through writing and speaking, ICAP heightens and grounds today’s constitutional conversation. ICAP’s lawyers also drive policy change, working with lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels to help situate their policymaking in constitutional principles and values.
Finally, ICAP plays an important teaching role within Georgetown Law by involving law students in our work. Through a practicum seminar, law students work directly with ICAP attorneys on constitutional impact litigation and related policy efforts. Additionally, ICAP provides litigation and policy support to other centers and institutes within the Georgetown community.