Michael at the Press conference for Dellums v. Bush I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Michael Ratner. Michael was an authentic social justice warrior. He went above and beyond in dedicating his life and career to activism, global justice, and humanity. For over 40 years, Michael worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights to progress their mission of advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unafraid of taking the unpopular stance, so long as it was on the side of justice, Michael was a trailblazer. Throughout his career, Michael oversaw litigation that ended New York City’s discriminatory stop-and-frisk police tactic, he was a catalyst in CRR’s arguments against the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency, and he protected whistleblower and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Perhaps Michael’s most notable work was in challenging the United States’ unjust treatment of those detained at Guantanamo Bay. In 2004, in the Supreme Court case Rasul v. Bush, Michael contested the U.S. government’s holding of foreign war on terror suspects in indefinite detention without counsel nor the right to charges or a trial. Through his work, Michael ensured that detainees were granted their right to counsel and a trial and prevented the United States from ordering indefinite detention without due process. During his time at Center for Constitutional Rights, our paths crossed multiple times. The first time Michael and I worked together was in the early 1980s. The Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU filed suit on behalf of Congressman John Conyers, 9 other members of Congress, and I (Conyers v. Reagan). We joined forces in opposing the full-scale U.S. military invasion of Grenada without congressional approval. Our paths would cross again in 1990 where, with the representation of the staff at the Center for Constitutional Rights, I filled a lawsuit against George H.W. Bush (Dellums v. Bush) requesting an injunction against presidential military action. Given Bush’s massive troop build up in the Persian Gulf region, we needed to act quickly in hopes of buying time to promote and build up a peace movement at the grassroots level. In preparation for the lawsuit, the CRR and Michael were among our first calls since they had repeatedly shown that they had the guts to stand up to power. In Conyers v. Reagan and Dellums v. Bush, we were among the few to challenge a sitting president on the War Power Clause in court. Beyond being a human rights attorney, Michael was a champion for peace. While working together Michael demonstrated tenacity and courage, evident in his efforts to avoid war. His audacity to challenge sitting presidents was inspiring. I had the pleasure of witnessing first hand Michael’s passion for protecting justice and human rights at both a national and global level. Michael stood for peaceful conflict resolution and accountability for the inevitable abuse that accompanies the use of force. He has left behind a powerful legacy. His death will be mourned. In closing, I was proud to know him, proud to work with him, and proud to call him friend and colleague in the struggle for a better world for ourselves, our children and our children’s children. With love, Ronald V. Dellums