December 6, 2011
* Leftist think tank and legal activist group, whose heaviest financial contributor is George Soros’ Open Society Institute
* Supports campaign -finance reform, judicial activism, voting rights for felons, and living-wage laws
Founded in 1995, the Brennan Center for Justice is a think tank and legal activist group affiliated with New York University Law School and pursues a wide range of goals drawn from the radical agenda of Sixties activism as well as from the program of Goerge Soros’ Open Society Institute. The Center generates scholarly studies, mounts media campaigns, files amicus briefs, gives pro bono support to activists, and litigates test cases in pursuit of radical “change.” It employs 35 full-time staff, including attorneys, social scientists, researchers, and publicists.
Former Amherst College president Tom Gerety became Executive Director of the Brennan Center in May 2003, succeeding Founding Director E. Joshua Rosenkranz. The Center’s stated mission is to carry on the work of its namesake, former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. (1906 – 1997), who pioneered the modern practice of “legislating from the bench” and gave birth to the doctrine of the “living” Constitution whose relationship to the Founders’ document is “evolving.” The Brennan Center runs the following programs and projects:
(a) Campaign Finance Reform Project: Seeks to expand, strengthen and further complicate campaign-finance laws above and beyond the McCain-Feingold restrictions.
(b) Fair Courts Project: Works toward a more racially diverse and leftist judiciary; lobbies for legislation that would protect what it calls the “judicial independence” of leftist judges from the moderating effects of judicial elections, judicial impeachments and any other forces that might tend to inhibit their activism.
(c) Voter Choice Project: Lobbies for electoral rule changes that would favor third-party candidates.
(d) Voting and Representation Project: Works to grant voting rights to felons and other “disenfranchised” groups; seeks redistricting and other systemic changes that would primarily benefit Democrats and other leftist parties; promotes electoral reforms whose practical effect would be to make voter fraud easier.
(e) Free Expression Policy Project: Fights the cutback of state funding for avant-garde artists while pushing for government intervention to stifle politically conservative voices on the airwaves.
(a) Access to Justice Project: Lobbies for a constitutional “right to counsel” for would-be plaintiffs in civil lawsuits; seeks to transform the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) into a permanent mechanism to provide legal manpower and limitless funding for lawsuits.
(b) Economic Justice Project: Promotes massive government intervention in the economy to ensure a “living wage” to all Americans, whether or not they work.
Criminal Justice Program:
(a) Community Justice Institute: Promotes measures that would bring law enforcement and criminal justice under the de facto control of local “community” activists.
(b) National Security and Liberty Project: On October 16, 2001, Brennan Center Executive Director Burt Neuborne took part in a Soros-funded “Defending America, Defending an Open Society” conference, which focused on “protecting civil liberties in an age of terrorism.” The Center’s “National Security and Liberty Project” now provides a permanent institutional mechanism for putting that conference’s proposals into effect.
Between 1999 and 2004, the Open Society Institute gave grants to the Brennan Center totaling $3,291,218. Other major supporters include the Carnegie Corporation of New York; the Ford Foundation; Pew Charitable Trusts; the Joyce Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation; the Goldsmith Foundation; the Annie E. Casey Foundation; the Public Welfare Foundation; NY Community Trust; the New York Foundation; the Atlantic Foundation of New York; the Clark Foundation; the Nathan Cummings Foundation; the JEHT Foundation; the Scherman Foundation; the Gimbel Foundation; the Deer Creek Foundation; the Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Krantz Foundation; the Kansas City Community Foundation; the Mertz Gilmore Foundation; the Rubinstein Foundation; the Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; the Gerbode Foundation; the Rosenberg Foundation; the Starr Foundation; and the Heron Foundation. Between 2000 and 2003, these foundations gave over $8.5 million to the Brennan Center.