Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment

Additional Resources

About Us
Case List
Recent News Alerts
Recent Publications


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


Scott Michelman

Scott Michelman is an attorney at the Public Citizen Litigation Group, in Washington, D.C. His career as a public interest litigator has spanned a broad range of social justice and civil rights issues, including access to the courts, consumers’ rights, discrimination and selective enforcement, freedom of speech and press, habeas corpus rights, immigrants' rights, judicial secrecy, police misconduct, political protest, post-September 11 abuse of executive power, religious freedom, the rights of medical marijuana patients, sentencing law, and unreasonable search and seizure.

Mr. Michelman has argued before the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and several federal courts of appeals, as well as federal and state trial courts around the country. In connection with his practice, he has been interviewed by television, radio, and print media outlets, including CNN, ABC, National Public Radio, the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, Salon, Slate and the National Law Journal.

Mr. Michelman has taught courses in an adjunct capacity at Harvard Law School, American University Washington College of Law, Santa Clara Law School, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has guest-lectured or appeared on panels at Harvard Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, the University of California at Berkeley, and the American Bar Association, among others.

His publications include Doing Kimbrough Justice: Implementing Policy Disagreements with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, 45 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1083 (2012), and Who Can Sue Over Government Surveillance? 57 UCLA L. Rev. 71 (2009).

Mr. Michelman graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, and he went on to clerk for the Honorable Betty B. Fletcher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before law school, Mr. Michelman designed and taught courses on American politics and law at Eton College in Windsor, England. He received his undergraduate degree in political science magna cum laude from Duke University.

Copyright © 2015 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

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.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.