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SUPREME COURT
ASSISTANCE PROJECT

Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.

 

Class Actions

Public Citizen believes in preserving the availability of class actions as a means of vindicating the rights of people who could not effectively bring suit on an individual basis. Accordingly, the Litigation Group participates in cases aimed at preserving the ability of plaintiffs to maintain class actions in both state and federal courts. At the same time, we recognize that on occasion class action settlements may not be in the interest of all class members, and in such cases we have often represented class members in objecting to and seeking to improve the terms of such settlements.
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Consumer Justice

Public Citizen works to establish important legal precedents for consumer rights by handling appeals, collaborating on class action lawsuits, and filing amicus briefs. Through our Litigation Group, we defend consumers' right to access the civil justice system (by challenging one-sided arbitration clauses and preserving consumer remedies) and advocate rules that allow people to effectively challenge unfair and deceptive practices (such as auto fraud, debt collection practices, or credit reporting violations). We also litigate constitutional issues that arise in consumer law. In recent years, we have won victories overturning rejecting sovereign-immunity defenses by debt collectors operating under government contract and reversing a decision striking down the Fair Credit Reporting Act as unconstitutional.
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Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

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