About the Archive

This archive* contains work by and about Michael Ratner, including: Cases, Photos, Writings, Books, and Discourses (speeches, interviews, debates, etc.). The work herein is categorized under the following major themes:

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Civil Liberties
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Includes cases and advocacy for the individual rights of liberty, justice, and equality for all as promised in the United States Constitution. Michael Ratner created social change by defending vulnerable communities with issues ranging from police brutality, discriminatory profiling, mass incarceration, criminalization of dissent, abusive immigration policies, racial injustice, and government surveillance.
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Internet and Publishing Freedom
Internet Freedom

Focuses on internet and publishing freedom as it pertains to the First Amendment. Michael Ratner advocated for the protection of whistleblowers and defended truth-tellers, including Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. For Michael Ratner, the fight to safeguard the Internet from censorship, and institutionalized and government surveillance is part of the larger fight to defend all of our freedoms.
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Guantanamo / Illegal Detention
Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, holds a copy of a report on conditions at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility at a press conference in New York, August 4, 2004. Three Britons released from Guantanamo allege systematic abuse at the facility in the report. REUTERS/Peter Morgan PM/GN

Features the work around the closure of Guantanamo as an offshore penal colony used to torture and indefinitely detain Haitian refugees in the 1990’s and “enemy combatants” in the War on Terror post-9/11. Michael Ratner led legal battles and used all possible means to galvanize pressure through organizing and educational outreach.
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International War Crimes
International War Crimes

Addresses the use of Universal Jurisdiction to fight the impunity given to torturers and dictators from Pinochet to Rumsfeld, and the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which allowed foreign victims of international human rights violations to sue perpetrators in U.S. courts. Michael Ratner fought passionately against the use of drones, targeted killing, and illegal invasions.
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Includes Michael Ratner’s legal support and advocacy work for those who speak out for Palestinian rights in the U.S., legal challenges to the illegal rounding up of Muslims after 9/11, subsequent abusive prison conditions, and continued religious surveillance. This includes legal challenges against Israeli impunity for violations of international law and the illegal occupation of Palestine.
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Personal & Profiles

Collected profiles, interviews, articles and stories about Michael Ratner. Along with documents of a personal interest authored by Michael on various subjects including Cuban culture, art, archeology, family, friends, clients, history, psychoanalysis and revolutionaries. The best of fan mail and a few examples of hate mail. Postcards of beloved places and ephemera saved.
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Center for Constitutional Rights archival dockets

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) archival dockets dating back to the 1970’s. Descriptions of cases litigated by Michael Ratner. Links to historic cases on the CCR website. Cases he supported as National Lawyers Guild (NLG) member and President; Founder and Council Chairman European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR); President and President Emeritus of CCR.
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*The archive is a work-in-progress and will continue to be updated over the coming months.