The ACS National Convention is the premier annual progressive legal gathering, bringing together lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, activists, and policymakers to examine some of the most urgent and challenging issues confronting our nation.

National Convention
Thursday, May 18-Saturday, May 20
Capital Hilton
1001 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036


Russ Feingold, ACS President

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award: Leah Litman

David Carliner Public Interest Award: Oren Nimni

Zinelle October and Hon. Justin J. Pearson

Lifetime Achievement Award: Sherrilyn Ifill

We Are ACS

More photos coming soon!


Attorney General Keith EllisonKeith Ellison
Minnesota Attorney General
Justin J. PearsonJustin J. Pearson
Tennessee State Representative, 86th District

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sherrilyn IfillSherrilyn Ifill
Senior Fellow, Ford Foundation;
President and Director-Counsel Emeritus, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Scholar Award

Leah LitmanLeah Litman
Professor of Law
University of Michigan School of Law

The David Carliner Public Interest Award

Oren NimniOren Nimni
Litigation Director
Rights Behind Bars

The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law

Lawyer Category

Daniel DeaconDaniel Deacon and Leah Litman
University of Michigan Law School

Student Category

Oren NimniShunhe Wang
Yale Law School, Class of 2023

Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition

Arlo BlaisusArlo Blaisus
Temple University Beasley School of Law, Class of 2024

Thursday, May 18

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: #MeToo Task Force Workshop

This interactive workshop will examine the legal profession five years after the #MeToo movement gained national attention. In small breakout groups, we will discuss what has changed, what has not, and where to go from here.

Elizabeth Binczik

Elizabeth Binczik (Panelist/Facilitator)
Director of Policy and Program for Economic Justice
American Constitution Society

Heidi Li Feldman

Heidi Li Feldman (Facilitator)
Professor of Law; Co-Director, Joint Degree in Law and Philosophy
Georgetown Law

Michele Goodwin

Michele Goodwin (Panelist/Facilitator)
Chancellor’s Professor of Law, Director
Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy
UC Irvine School of Law

Mary Hanna-Weir

Mary Hanna-Weir (Facilitator)
Deputy County Counsel
County of Santa Clara Office of the County Counsel

Rachel Kitze CollinsRachel Kitze Collins (Facilitator)
Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.
Joshua MatzJoshua Matz (Panelist)
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP


Friday, May 19


9:15 – 10:45 a.m.: Plenary Session 1

Dismantling the Tools of Tyranny

In the past decade, the world’s largest democracies (including countries like the United States, Brazil, India, and the Philippines) have been increasingly threatened by authoritarians and proto-authoritarians who weaponize various institutions and social biases to achieve greater political, economic, and social control. Their strategies include marginalizing and demonizing ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities, coopting the judiciary, exploiting the criminal legal system (including the use of the death penalty), and curtailing bodily autonomy, most notably over reproductive choices. How are these strategies being employed in the U.S. and what warning should we take? What lessons can we learn about combatting these efforts to achieve inclusive democracies?

Russ Feingold

Russ Feingold (Moderator)
American Constitution Society

Jamil Dakwar

Jamil Dakwar
Director of the Human Rights Program
American Civil Liberties Union

Craig Jackson

Craig Jackson
Professor of Law
Texas Southern University
Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Kate Masur

Kate Masur
Professor of History, Board of Visitors Professor
Northwestern University Weinburg College of Arts and Sciences

Alicia Ely YaminAlicia Ely Yamin
Lecturer on Law and Senior Fellow on Global Health and Rights, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, Harvard Law School;
Adjunct Senior Lecturer on Health Policy and Management, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health;
Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Health Policy, Partners In Health

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Breakout Session 1

Advancing a New Era of Antitrust

The nomination and confirmation of progressives to lead the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission have created the opportunity to revive the progressive tradition of trust busting. This opportunity arises within the context of renewed efforts now underway to resurrect the field of regulated industries, which decades of deregulation killed. How can progressive lawyers, law students, and law scholars take advantage of these opportunities to advance a new era of antitrust?

Ganesh Sitaraman

Ganesh Sitaraman (Moderator)
New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law and Director
Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator for Political Economy and Regulation
Vanderbilt Law School

Diana Moss

Diana Moss
American Antitrust Institute

Zephyr Teachout

Zephyr Teachout
Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law

Sandeep Vaheesan

Sandeep Vaheesan
Legal Director
Open Markets Institute

Beyond Color-Blindness: Confronting Legacies of Injustice

In recent years, revitalized movements for racial justice have spotlighted the continuing impact of genocide, slavery, segregation, and related systems of oppression in driving inequitable outcomes for people of color and called for affirmative measures to redress past harms. Meanwhile, through cases like Students for Fair Admissions, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is advancing an ahistorical (and, when applied to sovereign Native tribes, inappropriate) “color-blind” reading of the Constitution, which threatens to derail these efforts. How can lawyers best support and contribute to movements to create a truly equitable society within this challenging legal landscape? How do we reckon with the law’s (past and continuing) role in perpetuating inequality? What should our legal frameworks around racial justice look like in the future?

Taonga LeslieTaonga Leslie (Moderator)
Director of Policy and Program for Racial Justice
American Constitution Society
Jonodev Chaudhuri

Jonodev Chaudhuri
Chaudhuri Law

Damon Hewitt

Damon Hewitt
President and Executive Director
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Lourdes Rosado

Lourdes Rosado
President and General Counsel
LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Countering the Roberts Court’s Weaponizing of the First Amendment

The Supreme Court is poised to use the First Amendment to strike down laws aimed at addressing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The effect of this decision could ultimately extend to laws designed to protect against discrimination based on race, gender, and other protected classes. This and previous First Amendment cases raise questions about whose freedoms this Court is interested in protecting. Relying on dubious originalist notions about the Free Speech and Establishment Clauses, the Court is rewriting First Amendment Law. This is forcing progressives to decide whether to assert more religious freedom and freedom of speech claims given the Court’s leanings at the risk of allowing conservatives to further dictate the terms of the debate. What, then, are the long-term consequences of this movement?

Bradley Girard

Bradley Girard (Moderator)
Litigation Counsel
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Tabatha Abu El-Haj

Tabatha Abu El-Haj
Professor of Law
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Nora Benavidez

Nora Benavidez
Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights
Free Press

1:00 – 2:15 p.m.: Broken Law Live Podcast Taping

ACS’s signature podcast, “Broken Law,” will host a live episode recording featuring Donald Sherman, Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and Mark Joseph Stern, Senior Writer at Slate, and hosted by Jeanne Hruska, ACS’s Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy to discuss the biggest legal news and developments thus far in 2023.

Jeanne Hruska

Jeanne Hruska (Host)
Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy
American Constitution Society

Donald ShermanDonald Sherman
Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Mark Joseph Stern

Mark Joseph Stern
Senior Writer

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Breakout Session 2

One Year Later: Advocating in the Aftermath of Dobbs

One year after the Court’s disastrous decision in Dobbs, patients, health care providers, and advocates are still sorting through the resulting fallout. State officials continue to pursue abortion bans and restrictions in some states while others work to expand access to their residents while also managing the flood of patients crossing borders seeking care. And prosecutors are left to decide how to best exercise their discretion in states and localities with abortion bans. How has the shift to the states played out on the ground? What can attorneys learn from the past year about the future of progressive movement lawyering when it comes to abortion rights?

Jenny Ma

Jenny Ma (Moderator)
Senior Counsel
Center for Reproductive Rights

Carrie FlaxmanCarrie Flaxman
Senior Director, Public Policy Litigation and Law
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Maya Manian

Maya Manian
Professor of Law and Faculty Director
Health Law and Policy Program
American University Washington College of Law

Melissa Torres-Montoya

Melissa Torres-Montoya
Senior Lawyer Engagement Manager

Entrenched: The Fight for Meaningful Representation in the Shadow of the Supreme Court

This term the Court heard two cases that will be highly consequential in the pursuit of a truly multiracial democracy – Allen v. Milligan, a case that could gut what remains of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and severely hamper meaningful representation for marginalized communities, and Moore v. Harper, which has the potential to rewrite election law if the Court adopts the so-called “Independent State Legislature Theory.” In 2019, the Court already allowed states to gerrymander districts for partisan gain. If the Court rules against pro-voter plaintiffs this term, it will further open the floodgates for state legislators to pursue racially gerrymandered districts and entrench themselves beyond the reach of state courts or state constitutional protections.  How can progressives fight this move toward extreme concentration of power in state legislatures?  What redress will disenfranchised voters have to vindicate their rights if the Court adopts the ISLT?  What reforms are needed and how can they be achieved?

Justin Levitt

Justin Levitt (Moderator)
Professor of Law and Gerald T. McLaughlin Fellow
Loyola Marymount University Law School

Spencer Overton

Spencer Overton
Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professorship and Professor of Law
The George Washington University Law School

Deuel Ross

Deuel Ross
Deputy Director of Litigation
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Poy Winichakul

Poy Winichakul
Senior Staff Attorney
Voting Rights Practice Group
Southern Poverty Law Center

Danger & Opportunity: An Inflection Point for Labor

The conservative legal movement has spent decades trying to weaken unions and protections for workers, with Supreme Court decisions in Janus and Cedar Point being some of the most recent and high-profile victories for the anti-union movement. At the same time, state and local governments in many jurisdictions have been at the vanguard of passing and enforcing new laws to protect and support workers, and there’s been a surge of worker organizing after years of degraded working conditions. Now, as the Supreme Court considers a case this Term, Glacier Northwest, that could permit employers to use state tort law against employees for striking, the labor movement finds itself at the crossroads.

Terri Gerstein

Terri Gerstein (Moderator)
Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project, Harvard Center for Labor and a Just Economy;
Senior Fellow, Economic Policy Institute

Kate AndriasKate Andrias
Patricia D. and R. Paul Yetter Professor of Law
Columbia Law School
César F. Rosado Marzán

César F. Rosado Marzán
Edward L. Carmody Professor of Law
University of Iowa College of Law

Robert ShoreRobert Shore
Associate General Counsel
Service Employees International Union
Dorian Warren

Dorian Warren
Co-President, Community Change
Co-Founder, Economic Security Project
Co-Host, Deep Dive

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.: Plenary Session 2

We Are Not All Originalist

More than a decade after then-Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan famously declared, “[W]e are all originalists,” a conservative super-majority, made up of at least three avowed originalists, has taken control of the Supreme Court. This Court has relied on claims of originalism to achieve the aims of the conservative legal movement—including undermining reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, and the separation of church and state. Some progressives argue that if properly applied, originalism will lead to rights-expanding, progressive decisions, while critics assert that originalism is largely results-oriented and frequently abandoned by conservative justices when it cannot lead to their desired result (including through the increasing use of the so-called Shadow Docket). Faced with a Court in the thrall of originalism, what are the best avenues for lawyers, judges, and scholars to articulate and achieve a progressive vision of the Constitution?

Aziz Huq

Aziz Huq (Moderator)
Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law
University of Chicago Law School

Victoria Nourse

Victoria Nourse
Ralph V. Whitworth Professor of Law and Executive Director
Center on Congressional Studies
Georgetown University Law Center

Bijal ShahBijal Shah
Associate Professor and Provost Faculty Fellow
Boston College Law School
Elizabeth WydraElizabeth Wydra
Constitutional Accountability Center

SPONSORS Become a sponsor »



Covington Google Kirkland Ellis
Lieff Cabraser



AFSCME Center for Reproductive Rights Compassion & Choices
DLA Piper Kaplan Heckler Munger Tolles & Olson LLP
Unite Here Paul Weiss Wiley




AFT AFJ Americans United
Boies Schiller Brennan Center CAC
CWA Duane Morris Freedom from Religion Fdn
Freedom to Read Fdn George Floyf Global Memorial HNBA
Jenner Jones Day Keker Van Nest & Peters
Kieve Law Offices LGBT Bar National Bar Association
NAPABA NARAL Public Justice
SEIU Southern Poverty Law Center United Steelworkers


If you have questions about sponsoring the 2023 ACS National Convention, please contact Zachary Holland, Assistant Director of Development, via email at:


The student scholarship application is now open, and scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis. Apply before February 15, 2023.

If you are a lawyer and have a hardship that makes the cost of attendance impossible, please contact us at

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

Click here to view this year’s CLE materials »

For those requesting CLE for virtual or in-person participation, you will be required to log codes announced during Convention sessions in order to verify participation and obtain credit using this form.

ACS is in the process of applying to states for CLE credit. The availability and amount of CLE credit may vary by state. So far, ACS has been approved for the following:

Approved: (In-Person Only, except California)

  • California- 5 credits
  • Delaware- 5 credits
  • Florida- 6 credits
  • Georgia- 5 credits
  • Missouri- 6 credits
  • New York (via reciprocity)- 5 credits
  • Pennsylvania- 5 credits


  • Colorado
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia

More states to come!

If you have further questions about CLE, please contact us at or