Civil Society and Democracy

The Brennan Center

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a nonpartisan public policy and law institute that focuses on issues of democracy and justice. Its work includes voting rights, campaign finance reform, racial justice in criminal law, and Constitutional protection. The Center is part think tank, part public interest law firm, and part advocacy organization. It was founded in 1995 to develop and implement an innovative agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms. In 2002, the RBF joined more than 100 other foundations in an amicus brief supporting a federal lawsuit brought by the Center, Dobbins v. Legal Services Corporation, which challenged government-imposed restrictions on the use of private philanthropic funds in nonprofit legal aid services. The Fund has since supported the Center’s Money in Politics project, which works to reduce the influence of special interest money on democratic values. The project advances and defends public financing of political campaigns, providing legal guidance, informational publications and reports, and other support to federal, state, and local campaign finance reformers. In coalition with other RBF grantees, including the Campaign Legal Center and Demos, it works to develop a progressive First Amendment jurisprudence that supports regulation of political spending.

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Courtesy of Jafreen Uddin/Brennan Center.

Director of the Brenan Center's Democracy Program, Susan Liss.

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Browse the major events in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's history