April 18, 2023

The American Constitution Society Awards 2023 David Carliner Public Interest Award to Oren Nimni, Litigation Director Rights Behind Bars

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, nrodriguez@acslaw.org

Contact: Phoebe Mesard, phoebe@rightsbehindbars.org

Washington, D.C. – The American Constitution Society (ACS) is proud to announce that Oren Nimni, litigation director for Rights Behind Bars, is the recipient of the 2023 David Carliner Public Interest Award. This prestigious award honors a mid-career public interest attorney whose work best exemplifies David Carliner’s legacy of fearless, uncompromising, and creative advocacy on behalf of marginalized people.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award from ACS and to stand on the shoulders of great advocates like David Carliner,” said Oren Nimni. “This recognition is a testament to the amazing team we have at Rights Behind Bars who approach one of our country’s most pressing issues – the American prison system – with creativity, tenacity, and uncompromising love for our clients and the movements we support.”

Nimni will accept the David Carliner Public Interest Award in person and deliver remarks at the ACS National Convention that will take place May 18-20, 2023 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Carliner recipients receive a cash prize of $10,000, and their organizations receive an award of $2,500.

“I am proud to announce Oren Nimni as this year’s recipient of the Carliner Award,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “Oren embodies what a recipient of the David Carliner Award should be. He has a true commitment to civil rights, and he has gone out of his way to find new ways to fight what often seem like losing battles. Yet, his keen litigation skills and incisive judgment has helped RBB win one improbable victory after another, in areas ranging from disability justice to qualified immunity. ACS is thrilled to recognize and support his work and the work of RBB.”

Rights Behind Bars (RBB) is a non-profit legal advocacy organization working alongside incarcerated people to challenge the cruel and inhumane conditions of confinement.

In his role as Litigation Director, Nimni manages RBB's docket and litigation strategy with a focus on utilizing a movement lawyering framework against prisons, jails, and immigration detention centers. Before joining Rights Behind Bars, Oren was a Supervising Attorney at Lawyers for Civil Rights where he managed and practiced in the organization's immigrants' rights and criminal justice dockets. Oren has lectured and taught courses at numerous law schools including courses on Law and Social Movements, Criminal Law, Crimmigration, and Animal Law. He is also the co-founder and former Legal Editor of Current Affairs Magazine.

"Oren is one of the most gifted civil rights attorneys of his generation. He has a rare ability to blend creative legal arguments and client-centered advocacy with a sharp sense of the relationship between litigation and broader social change,” said Samuel Weiss, Founder and Executive Director of Rights Behind Bars. “Oren’s accomplishments would be impressive in any field, but are doubly so given the added difficulty of representing incarcerated people, whom the state has stripped of many legal and political rights. We are so grateful for the intelligence, leadership, kindness, and resolve that he brings to this work."

Visit ACS’s 2023 National Convention web hub for more information on events, speakers, and COVID protocols.


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 strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and redress the founding failures of our Constitution and enduring inequities in our laws in pursuit of realized equality. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw.