May 28, 2024

ACS President Russ Feingold to Step Down in 2025

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez

Russ Feingold
ACS President Russ Feingold

Washington, D.C. - Russ Feingold, president of the American Constitution Society (ACS), announced this week that he is stepping down from his position in April 2025.

“It is an honor to lead the American Constitution Society at such a crucial time for our democracy,” said Feingold. “The last four years have seen ACS and its outstanding staff prevail through the pandemic, lead the national movement for Supreme Court Reform, and help the White House and Senate make history in the professional and demographic diversity of the federal court. We are in the midst of an existential crisis for our democracy, and I am committed to ensuring that we at ACS do everything we can to ensure democracy prevails. While I will be stepping down in 2025, I will continue to support this great organization for many years to come.”

“Russ has turned ACS into a progressive powerhouse,” said Roscoe Jones, Chair of the ACS Board of Directors. “His leadership has been instrumental to the organization and in working with the White House and Senate to ensure our courts are filled with diverse and talented jurists, which has resulted in the most diverse federal bench appointees in history.”

“Russ joined ACS with a singular message: courts matter. The last few years have been one glaring example after another of how true that is,” said ACS Board of Directors member Michele Goodwin. “With Russ’s leadership, ACS has met the moment and mobilized the progressive legal movement around judicial appointments. We now have a national infrastructure for identifying and supporting diverse, qualified judicial candidates. We have a progressive judicial pipeline that will help ensure we achieve a judiciary that reflects the diversity of the public it serves.”

“The national conversation underway about how we restore legitimacy to the Supreme Court and preserve the rule of law is in no small part because of ACS’s work over the past four years under Russ’s leadership,” said ACS Board of Directors member and Chair of the Search Committee, Ambassador (ret.) Keith M. Harper. “His departure will be an enormous loss, but we are exceedingly grateful that he will remain President for another year to ensure continuity of leadership at this vital time for the courts and our Nation.”

The ACS Board of Directors has formed a search committee to conduct a national search in the coming months with Ambassador (ret.) Keith M. Harper as Chair. Feingold will stay on until April 1, 2025, by which time a successor is expected to be in place.

ACS during the tenure of Russ Feingold as President

Under Russ’s almost five-year tenure ACS has established itself as a leading voice in the need for court reform and increased judicial diversity. ACS also expanded its education, activism, and advocacy in areas such as the abolition of the death penalty, the recognition of the Equal Rights Amendment, and launched an initiative for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation.

Specifically, ACS has:

  • Identified, recruited, and recommended diverse, qualified candidates for the federal bench through its 55 ACS Path to the Bench working groups in 42 states; One-third of the federal judges appointed by the Biden-Harris Administration were identified and recommended by ACS.
  • Positioned ACS as the leading progressive voice advocating for Supreme Court Reform and helped bring the issue from the margins to the mainstream.
  • Enhanced the public’s understanding and tracking of the federal judicial confirmation process through the expansion of real time data on the ACS website, including diversity and Senate vote data.
  • Launched the Run.Vote.Work. initiative aimed at combating the threat of election subversion, educating voters about the importance of down ballot races, and connecting those who may be interested in running for office with mentors.
  • Launched ACS’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation initiative aimed at educating the public and advocating for systemic changes to laws and legal systems that have contributed to the perpetuation of racial inequity in this country.
  • Helped to lead the national effort to realize the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Led efforts to abolish the death penalty and pushed with partners for commutation of federal death row prisoners.
  • Joined partners in sounding the alarm about how factions of the far-Right are conducting a well-funded national campaign aimed at radically rewriting the U.S. Constitution via an Article V Convention.
  • Reinforced the focus on the ACS network throughout the states, including by planning to host the first ACS National Convention outside of Washington, DC in June 2024.
  • Created the Trial Lawyers Student Initiative to fund signature programming at student chapters and expanded clerkship mentoring.
  • Expanded ACS name recognition through increased media interviews and Op Eds, partnerships, and the creation of the Broken Law podcast.
  • Raised its most total revenue in a year to just under $8.8 million.
  • Established the ACS Endowment, securing almost $3 million in contributions and pledges.


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that redress the founding failures of our Constitution, strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and realize the promise of equality for all, including people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and other historically excluded communities. For more information, visit us at