In 2021, ICAP expanded its Supreme Court practice in response to the growing need for dedicated public interest litigators with specialized expertise in defending constitutional and civil rights before the nation’s highest court.  The practice is led by Supreme Court Director Kelsi Brown Corkran, who served as lead counsel in two of the most significant civil rights cases before the Supreme Court in recent years: Torres v. Madrid, in which the Court reversed a lower court decision holding that the victim of a police shooting is deprived of protection under the Fourth Amendment if the police are not immediately successful in apprehending her, and Taylor v. Riojas, a challenge to inhumane prison conditions that marked the first time in 16 years that the Court denied qualified immunity to a government officer.  Kelsi previously led the Supreme Court Practice at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

An important component of ICAP’s Supreme Court practice is preserving favorable civil rights and criminal justice decisions issued by the federal courts of appeals.  In the first half of the 2022 term alone, ICAP successfully represented the respondent in defeating certiorari in five important civil rights matters involving issues ranging from the scope of section 1983’s remedies for fatal excessive police force to the liability standard for Title IX teacher-student sexual harassment.  In the 2021 term, we successfully represented the House Select Committee in defending against Donald Trump’s efforts to persuade the Court to thwart the Committee’s review of records relating to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, and we defeated a cert petition seeking reversal of a court of appeals’ decision applying a heightened standard of care for unaccompanied refugee children in government custody.

ICAP has also represented bipartisan groups of current and former government officials as amici addressing many of the most significant issues before the Court.  In the 2022 and 2021 Terms, we’ve filed a brief on behalf of former national security officials raising the national security threats posed by the algorithmic amplification of terrorist content by social media platforms; a brief on behalf of former public officials, judges, and election experts urging the Court to reject a broad reading of the so-called independent state legislature theory; a brief on behalf of former national security officials arguing that states and localities must be able to impose reasonable firearms restrictions as a matter of public safety and national security; a brief on behalf of current and former prosecutors supporting a plaintiff’s right to bring a malicious prosecution claim after the criminal charges against him were dismissed before trial; a brief on behalf of current and former prosecutors urging the Court to reverse the petitioner’s death sentence after the State failed to disclose a statement directly implicating two other people, but not the petitioner, in the murder of a prison guard; and a brief on behalf of current and former prosecutors supporting a challenge to Texas’s improper use of solitary confinement.

Our Work

  • 12/7/22 – Filed an amicus brief in Gonzalez v. Google on behalf of former national security officials, raising the national security threats facilitated by algorithmic amplification of terrorist content by social media platforms.
  • 11/18/22 – Filed an amicus brief in Arkansas Times v. Waldrip on behalf of Jewish community organizations, explaining why an Arkansas law prohibiting the practice of consumer boycotts of Israel by state contractors is inconsistent with the First Amendment.
  • 11/4/22 – Filed a brief in opposition in City of Orange v. Craig on behalf of the respondents, whose son was unlawfully killed by a police officer, urging the Court to deny review of the Ninth Circuit’s affirmance of the jury verdict awarding loss of life damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
  • 10/26/22 – Filed an amicus brief in Moore v. Harper on behalf of a bipartisan group of former public officials, former judges, and election experts from Pennsylvania, urging the Court to reject a broad reading of the so-called independent state legislature theory.
  • 10/11/22 – Filed a brief in opposition in University of Toledo v. Wamer on behalf of the respondent, a college student who was sexually harassed by her professor, opposing review of the Sixth Circuit’s holding that the University is liable under Title IX if it responded with deliberate indifference to the student’s sexual harassment report and the school’s failure to act forced the student to forego educational opportunities in order to avoid additional harassment.
  • 9/26/22 – Filed a brief in opposition in City of Anaheim v. Valenzuela on behalf of the respondents, whose father was unlawfully killed by police, urging the Court to deny review of the Ninth Circuit’s affirmance of the jury verdict awarding loss of life damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
  • 9/6/22 – Filed a brief in oppositionin Ritter v. Migliori on behalf of the respondent judicial candidate, opposing review of a Third Circuit decision holding that the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s materiality provision prohibited throwing out ballots that were undated but timely filed.
  • 8/26/22 – Filed an amicus brief in Brown v. Louisiana on behalf of current and former prosecutors, urging the Court to reverse David Brown’s death sentence after the State failed to disclose a statement directly implicating two other people, but not Brown, in the murder of a prison guard.
  • 3/8/22 – Filed a reply brief in support of certiorari in Herrera v. Cleveland on behalf on the petitioner, a pre-trial detainee seeking to bring suit against the prison guards who ignored his pleas for help when he was brutally attacked in his cell.
  • 2/15/22 – Filed an amicus brief in Hope v. Harris on behalf of current and former prosecutors, urging the Court to review a challenge to Texas’s improper use of solitary confinement.
  • 12/30/21 – Filed a brief in opposition and an opposition to the application for a stay in Trump v. Thompson on behalf of the respondent House Select Committee, opposing Donald Trump’s request for Supreme Court review of his challenge to the release of Presidential records relating to the Committee’s investigation of the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
  • 11/19/21 – Filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in Herrera v. Cleveland on behalf of the petitioner, a pre-trial detainee seeking to bring suit against the prison guards who ignored his pleas for help when he was brutally attacked in his cell.
  • 10/29/21 – Filed a brief in opposition in Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center v. Doe on behalf of the respondent class of juvenile immigration detainees, opposing review of the Fourth Circuit’s decision to apply a heightened standard of care for unaccompanied refugee children in government custody.
  • 9/21/21 – Filed an amicus brief in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen on behalf of former national security officials, urging the Court to recognize the constitutionality of certain restrictions on firearms possession designed to protect national security and public safety.
  • 6/11/21 – Filed an amicus brief in Thompson v. Clark on behalf of former prosecutors, Department of Justice officials, and judges, supporting a challenge to a rule foreclosing malicious prosecution claims where the plaintiff’s underlying criminal case was dismissed before trial without an “affirmative indication of innocence.”
  • 1/4/21 – Filed an amicus brief in Thompson v. Clark on behalf of former prosecutors, Department of Justice officials, and judges, urging the Court to review a challenge to a rule foreclosing malicious prosecution claims where the plaintiff’s underlying criminal case was dismissed before trial without an “affirmative indication of innocence.”
  • 11/16/20 – Filed an amicus brief in Trump v. State of New York on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting a challenge to an executive memo calling for the apportionment of the House to exclude undocumented immigrants.
  • 10/3/19 – Filed an amicus brief in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California on behalf of current and former prosecutors and law enforcement leaders, opposing the Trump Administration’s efforts to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • 8/27/19 – Filed an amicus brief in Mathena v. Malvo on behalf of current and former prosecutors, Department of Justice officials, and judges, arguing that when a juvenile is convicted of capital murder under state law, the Eighth Amendment requires consideration of the juvenile’s youth before sentencing him to life without parole.
  • 4/1/19 – Filed an amicus brief in U.S. Department of Commerce v. State of New York on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting a challenge to the Commerce Department’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the census.
  • 4/5/18 – Filed an amicus brief in Williams v. Louisiana on behalf of former prosecutors and Department of Justice officials, urging the Court to review and reverse a criminal conviction obtained through prosecutorial misconduct.
  • 3/8/18 – Filed an amicus brief in Parkinson v. Department of Justice on behalf of former FBI employees, the National Whistleblower Center, and the Project on Government Oversight, urging the Court to review a Federal Circuit decision barring preference-eligible FBI whistleblowers from raising retaliation as an affirmative defense before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
  • 9/15/17 – Filed an amicus brief in Hidalgo v. Arizona on behalf of the Fair Punishment Project, arguing that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment.