Dozens of Advocacy Groups Line Up to Support Eric Holder

PFAW joined more than 65 religious, human rights, social and economic justice organizations in issuing a letter to the leaders of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, urging the Senate to confirm Eric Holder as Attorney General without delay. "The groundswell of support that Eric Holder has received is a testament to his unquestionable qualifications for this office," said PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert. The letter cites Holder's "integrity, independence, reputation, experience, judgment, inclusiveness, and temperament" in making their endorsement, calling Holder a "stellar nominee."

Two Key Pay Equity Bills Pass the House

PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and H.R. 12, Paycheck Fairness Act in the House: "Two years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporations over workers in discrimination cases, the House today corrected that mistake and brought justice to employees like Lilly Ledbetter who deserve restitution for unlawful pay discrimination. It's clear that the Supreme Court has lurched dangerously to the right, and Bush's new Justices have brought their political agenda to bear on the cases they hear. In November, the American people spoke loud and clear and voted to restore checks and balances. Today, we're seeing this come to fruition."

High Court to Hear Voting Rights Case

The Supreme Court today announced that it would hear Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Mukasey. People For the American Way, on behalf of its members, is an intervenor defendant in the case. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "I'm extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to affirm outright the lower court decision upholding the constitutionality of the pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act. It's another reminder of how far to the right the Court has moved that this decades old civil rights legislation is now in jeopardy despite having been found constitutional by the very same court in the past. The Voting Rights Act is a landmark in our nation's struggle to move beyond the poisonous racism of our past, and it remains a necessary protection for vulnerable communities."

People For Statement on Justice Department Nominations

President-elect Barack Obama today announced a strong slate of nominees to fill critical Department of Justice positions including that of Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School, as Solicitor General of the United States. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "Americans concerned with justice should be very pleased about today's nominations, including Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General. Kagan's legal skills are only matched by her commitment to the Constitutional values at the core of our nation. This announcement sends a clear message that the politicization of the Department of Justice is coming to an end. It's a great relief to know that our laws will again be enforced with honesty and integrity."

People For the American Way 'Profoundly Disappointed' that Rick Warren Will Give Invocation

People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert responded today to the news that Rev. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church will deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama: "It is a grave disappointment to learn that pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama. I'm sure that Warren's supporters will portray his selection as an appeal to unity by a president who is committed to reaching across traditional divides, but the sad truth is that this decision further elevates someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans."

Supreme Court Takes Detainee Case

The Supreme Court today decided to hear the case of Ali al-Marri, a U.S. resident who has been held without charge by the federal government for more than five years. The case will determine whether the president can order the indefinite military detention of people living in the United States. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "Despite its shift to the right, the Supreme Court has still proved itself willing to check the excessive power of the executive branch. I'm hopeful that the Court will stand up for the Constitution yet again, and place some meaningful limits on abuses of presidential power."

Kennedy Steps Down From Judiciary Committee

In response to Senator Kennedy's departure from the Senate Judiciary Committee, People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "During his years on the Judiciary Committee, Senator Kennedy proved himself to be one of the Constitution's staunchest defenders. His passion for justice and his deep commitment to equality under the law have helped to better our nation in countless ways. Although we look forward to working with Chairman Leahy and the other members of the committee, we will miss Senator Kennedy’s presence immeasurably. He is irreplaceable."

Holder: A Solid Pick for Attorney General

President-elect Barack Obama today announced his decision to nominate Eric Holder to be Attorney General in the new administration. People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "After so many years of scandal and mismanagement at the Justice Department, we’re happy to see Eric Holder nominated for the top job. The Department of Justice should be a vigorous advocate of the rule of law. Under the Bush administration, it has been used as an ideological bludgeon. It's going to take a great deal of work to restore the credibility and authority of the Department of Justice, especially the civil rights division. Eric Holder is a solid choice for the job."

Prop 8 Protest - Washington, DC - Nov. 15, 2008

People For the American Way joined thousands of protesters to stand against Prop 8 and for marriage equality.

Blaming Black Voters for Prop 8 Loss is Wrong and Destructive

The LGBT-equality movement should recognize that its real enemies are the Religious Right organizations and leaders who oppose gay and lesbian equality and who devise and fund strategies like Prop 8. And we must commit now to building long-term partnerships with equality-affirming African American clergy and community leaders that will allow us to advance the progressive values that we share.

Exit Polls Say Supreme Court Was a Winning Issue for Obama

Exit polls from CNN provided more evidence that the Supreme Court was a winning issue for Senator Barack Obama. Data from the nationwide survey of voters shows that those who called the Supreme Court a factor in their vote broke for Obama 53 to 45. Voters who called future Supreme Court appointments the most important factor went for Obama even more strongly — 57 to 41. PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "This week, voters elected someone who has said he will nominate justices who will protect their personal freedoms and ensure every American equal access to justice."

Television Ads Focus on Senators' Support for Harmful Bush Supreme Court Justices

TV ads airing this week in Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oregon focus on the harmful impact of key senators' votes to confirm Bush nominees Samuel Alito and John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court and urges them to stop supporting bad judges.

Obama Wins Mandate on the Courts

A post-election memo from PFAW on how yesterday's results "delivered a sweeping mandate for President-elect Obama to appoint federal judges who are committed to core constitutional values."

Documenting Hate in the 2008 Election

A collection of some of the hate and bigotry on display during the 2008 campaign season.

The End of Choice?

Nov. 4 could be the beginning of the end for the right to choose. In this video, we lay out some scary math.

Know Your Voting Rights!

Know your voting rights! Voter ID toolkits from People For the American Way.

Ads: Senators Who Put George W. Bush -- Not Their Constituents -- First

As part of People For the American Way's Save the Court campaign, we're running ads in key states targeting senators who voted against their constituents' interests by supporting George W. Bush's extreme judicial nominees. The ads below call out senators who sided with Bush when it came to judicial nominees whose decisions had very real — and negative — impacts on families in their state.

Boards of Directors

People For the American Way Board of Directors

Lara Bergthold — Chair
David Altschul
James A. Autry
Alec Baldwin
Dr. Arthur J. Bellinzoni
The Hon. Mary Frances Berry
The Hon. Julian Bond
The Hon. John H. Buchanan, Jr.
Bertis Downs
Greg Frezados
The Hon. James C. Hormel
Dolores Huerta
Michael Keegan
Howard Klein


Norman Lear, Founding Chair
Jane Lynch
Seth MacFarlane
Rev. Timothy McDonald
Catherine Park
Yolanda Parker
Deborah Rappaport
Joshua Sapan
Carole Shields
Margery Tabankin
Dennis van Roekel
Reg Weaver
Geraldine Day Zurn

People For the American Way Foundation Board of Directors

David Altschul — Chair
James A. Autry
The Hon. Nicole Avant
Alec Baldwin
Arthur Bellinzoni
The Hon. Mary Frances Berry
Barbara Bluhm-Kaul
The Hon. John H. Buchanan, Jr.
Bertis Downs
Ronald Feldman
Joan Harris
Michael Keegan


Norman Lear, Founding Chair
Rev. Timothy McDonald
Deborah Rappaport
Joshua Sapan
Rabbi David Saperstein
Paul Song
Margery Tabankin
Kathleen Turner
Ruth B. Usem
Reg Weaver
Nate Westheimer
Geraldine Day Zurn


Our Mission and Vision

Statue of Liberty
People For the American Way has been working for a fairer, freer, more progressive America for over 25 years.

People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way.

Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

We believe a society that reflects these constitutional principles and progressive values is worth fighting for, and we take seriously our responsibility to cultivate new generations of leaders and activists who will sustain these values for the life of this nation.

Our operational mission is to promote the American Way and defend it from attack, to build and nurture communities of support for our values, and to equip those communities to promote progressive policies, elect progressive candidates, and hold public officials accountable.

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Defenders of Democracy

Every year, half a billion dollars flow through the major institutions of the Radical Right. Much of it is invested in permanent infrastructures for its work — radio and television networks… magazine and book publishing… and the machinery of public relations, organizing and political influence — all geared to imposing their narrow agenda on our laws, courts, liberties and schools.

People For the American Way’s Defenders of Democracy embody the vigilance needed to counter this massive threat. By making a monthly commitment, Defenders of Democracy give People For the American Way the steady resources needed to expose the Right’s lies, combat its drive for power, and defeat its disregard for our freedoms.

To become a Defender of Democracy is to make a statement. You will affirm your belief in the American Way each and every month. You will become a fundamental part of People For the American Way’s ability to defend our rights and freedoms from the Radical Right’s systematic attacks. You will share in our victories, and experience the personal satisfaction of doing your part to sustain the American dream.

As a Defender of Democracy:

  • Pledges may be fulfilled by credit card or Electronic Fund Transfers automatically debited from your checking account. You will receive convenient monthly statements summarizing your giving. Your pledge may be changed or canceled at any time.
  • You will not receive other fundraising letters, except at especially critical times.
  • You will have a dedicated contact person on the People For the American Way staff to answer your questions and put you in touch with other People For the American Way programs.
  • Over time, your modest monthly contributions will yield substantial financial benefits to People For the American Way, and include you among our core group of leadership supporters.

To join the Defenders of Democracy program, please use this online form or print and mail it to People For the American Way, 2000 M Street, NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036, or call (800) 326-7329 and ask for the membership department.

Your commitment is needed. Become a Defender of Democracy today.

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