Kelsi Corkran

Biography

Kelsi Brown Corkran is the Supreme Court Director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy & Protection and a Senior Lecturer at Georgetown University Law Center. Kelsi joined ICAP in 2021 to expand its Supreme Court practice in response to the growing need for dedicated public interest litigators with specialized expertise in defending constitutional rights before the nation’s highest court.

An important component of Kelsi’s practice is preserving favorable civil rights decisions issued by the federal courts of appeals. In the past two years, Kelsi and the ICAP team have defeated over a dozen cert petitions seeking the Supreme Court’s reversal of civil rights victories involving issues ranging from the scope of constitutional remedies for fatal excessive police force to the liability standard for Title IX teacher-student sexual harassment to the application of federal overtime protections to migrant construction workers.

In addition to her cert opposition practice, Kelsi has served as lead counsel in numerous civil rights merits cases before the Supreme Court, including Grants Pass v. Johnson, an Eighth Amendment challenge to a city ordinance criminalizing homelessness; Acheson Hotels v. Laufer, a disability discrimination case under the Americans with Disabilities Act; Torres v. Madrid, in which the Court held that a police shooting victim may assert a Fourth Amendment seizure claim regardless of whether she is immediately apprehended; Taylor v. Riojas, an Eighth Amendment challenge to inhumane prison conditions that marked the first time in 16 years that the Court denied qualified immunity to a government officer; and City of Hays v. Vogt, which involved claims under the Fifth Amendment’s Self-Incrimination Clause. She has also argued over 30 cases in the courts of appeals, including 12 of the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals and the en banc Ninth Circuit.

Immediately prior to joining ICAP, Kelsi was the Head of the Supreme Court Practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. She previously served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court and Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Among other positions, she was as an attorney with the Civil Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice and in the Communications Office of the White House’s Executive Office of the President, where she assisted with judicial nominations, including the confirmation hearings of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Before law school, she was a social worker in Philadelphia’s foster care system.

Kelsi is a member of the American Law Institute, the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the D.C. Circuit Advisory Committee on Procedures. She previously served on the Supreme Court Practitioners’ Committee for the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States and on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. and M.P.P. from the University of Chicago.

Kelsi Corkran

Georgetown Law Center; Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection

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