Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies and its scholars take their inspiration from the struggle of America’s founding and Civil War generations to secure liberty through constitutionally limited government. The Center’s scholars address a wide range of constitutional and legal issues, especially by encouraging the judiciary to neither make nor ignore the law but rather to interpret and apply it through the natural rights tradition inherited from the Founders.
Scholars affiliated with the Center for Constitutional Studies, both resident and non-resident, conduct rigorous legal research on a wide range of subjects: constitutional theory and history, the Supreme Court, property rights, environmental law, and others. The Center publishes the annual Cato Supreme Court Review, released at its annual Constitution Day Conference, featuring leading legal scholars analyzing the most important decisions of the Court’s recent term. Center scholars also write and commission books, monographs, articles, and op-eds; conduct forums on legal issues of the day; lecture and debate across the country; and file amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs with the Supreme Court, all aimed at encouraging a climate of ideas conducive to liberty through constitutionally limited government.
From October 2012 to June 2013, Cato was also one of the most successful amicus filers, with the Court siding with Cato 15 out of 18 times. For briefs supporting cert, the Court took 28 percent of cases in which Cato filed, compared to the Court’s typical average of taking only 1 percent of cases seeking review. Petitioners to the Supreme Court from all over the country now actively seek Cato’s support — so many that we often have to turn some away due to lack of resources.