January 14, 2021

American Constitution Society Issues ‘Big Idea’ Publication As Course Change for Incoming Administration

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, media@acslaw.org

Washington, D.C.  – As the nation prepares to welcome a new administration, the American Constitution Society today released a collection of essays that represents the best thinking of a diverse set of scholars and advocates on a way forward in the post-Trump era.

The publication, “What’s the Big Idea? Recommendations for Improving Law & Policy in the Next Administration and in the States,” explores topics such as immigration and labor law, democracy and death penalty reform, reproductive justice, and a better response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of ACS’s driving missions is generating and sharing ideas and perspectives that shape debate on pressing legal and policy issues of the day,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “We hope our 'Big Idea' publication will spur fresh ideas and conversations about issues that affect all Americans and solutions to improve their lives.”

The collection of essays includes the following articles written by legal experts from across the country:

Access to Justice: Bring Back Community Decision-Making
Suja A. Thomas, Peer and Sarah Pederson Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

Antitrust: Restructuring the Balance of Power in Digital Markets
Lina Khan, Associate Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Death Penalty: Determine If Capital Punishment Has Outlived Its Use
John H. Blume, Samuel F. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Techniques, Cornell Law School
Brendan Van Winkle, Craig N. Yankwitt Capital Punishment Fellow, Justice 360

Democracy Reform: Renew American Democracy from the Top Down and the Bottom Up
Robert Yablon, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School  

Environment: New Hope for Our Planet
Sambhav (Sam) Sankar, Senior Vice President for Programs, Earthjustice

Good Governance: Transparency’s Role in Strengthening Public Trust in Government
Noah Bookbinder, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington
Mia L. Woodard, Legislative Affairs and Policy Counsel, Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington

Immigration: Building Immigration Policy Back Better
Anil Kalhan, Professor of Law, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law; Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (2020-21) 

Labor Law: Reform Opportunities 2020
Sharon Block, Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
Benjamin Sachs, Kestnbaum Professor of Labor and Industry, Harvard Law School

Pandemic Law: A Better Response to Covid-19
Polly J. Price, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

Police Liability Reimagined: Vicarious Liability for Constitutional Deprivations
Teressa E. Ravenell, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Religious Liberty: Stop Privileging It Over All Other Interests
Caroline Mala Corbin, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Reproductive Rights: Congress Needs to Enact a Reproductive Justice New Deal
Michele Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law

The full publication can be accessed here.


ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw