Alliance for Justice

Color logo for Alliance for Justice (link)


Tax ID:


DUNS Number:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $4,027,732
Expenses: $4,501,534
Assets: $5,327,676


1979 in Washington, D.C.


Nan Aron

Issue Area:

Left-Wing Judicial Policy Advocacy

The Alliance for Justice is a left-of-center legal policy coalition composed of over 100 organizations. The group is best known for the Judicial Selection Project, which seeks to promote left-wing and Democratic-appointed judges while defeating conservative and Republican-appointed judges. [1] The project has helped to turn the process of nominating judges into a highly partisan process.

In addition, the AFJ has received funding from numerous prominent left-of-center funders, including the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation associated with billionaire progressive investor Warren Buffett and his family, the Open Society Foundations associated with billionaire liberal investor George Soros, the Ford Foundation, and the California Endowment, among others.[2]


For more information, see Nan Aron

The alliance was founded in 1979 by Nan Aron, a former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) staff attorney.[3] In 1985, it launched the Judicial Selection Project to monitor judicial appointments. The project gathered opposition research in order to mount full-fledged campaigns against then-President Ronald Reagan’s judicial appointments.[4]

In 1987, the group claimed its most famous scalp when it was part of the effort to defeat the Supreme Court nomination of D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Robert Bork. Aron claimed that the assault on Bork was “in triple gear” and that AFJ had constructed most of the case against him.[5] Before the Bork confirmation hearings, Supreme Court nominations were largely limited to the qualifications of the judges. The politics of the justices rarely played a role in the confirmation hearings. At the time, Aron told Time Magazine, “This battle won’t involve smoking guns or skeletons. It’s going to come down to philosophy.” [6]

The AFJ led the fight against Clarence Thomas when he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush. When President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts and then Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, the AFJ also led the fight against their confirmations.[7]


The most notable aspect of the organization is the Judicial Selection Project which tracks potential judicial nominees. The project helps disseminate damaging information about conservative judicial nominees.

AFJ’s largest project by budget is its advocacy work, called Bolder Advocacy. It works on educating left-wing groups on how to promote liberal policies by offering guidance on what the IRS defines as “allowable lobbying.” It also provides help on everything from influencing ballot propositions to forming an organization.[8]

The organization also makes documentaries through its First Monday documentary series. These are documentaries that are targeted at law students, encouraging them to work on various left-wing causes. For example in 2001, the Surdna Foundation donated $100,000 to AFJ to help build a network to advance gun control efforts. That year, AFJ released a documentary called America Up In Arms and Deadly Business:  How the Gun Industry and the NRA Market Mayhem.[9]

Alliance for Justice Action Campaign

Also see Alliance for Justice Action Campaign (Nonprofit)

The Alliance for Justice Action Campaign is the 501(c)(4) advocacy arm of the Alliance for Justice responsible for lobbying Congress. In 2017, it spent $13,311 on federal lobbying.[10]


In 2015, AFJ took in $4 million and spent $4.5 million. It had $4.3 million in net assets. The Bolder Advocacy work was the most expensive program area, costing $2.2 million. The Judicial Selection Project expended $1.2 million.[11]

The Alliance for Justice has received money from numerous left-of-center foundations and labor unions. The Ford Foundation has given the organization $3.36 million, the Atlantic Foundation has given it $2.45 million, and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations has given it $1.6 million. [12]

Member Organizations

The AFJ claims it has over 120 member organizations. Those members include American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Consumers Union, Drug Policy Alliance, Earthjustice, NARAL, National Education Association, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and Transgender Law Center.[13]


Nan Aron, a former American Civil Liberties Union attorney, founded and heads the AFJ.

Abby Levine is the current director of the Bolder Advocacy Project. Levine was the Public Policy Analyst for the National Council of Nonprofit Associations. [14]


  1. “Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Activist Facts. Accessed November 27 2017.
  2. Data compiled by subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Queries conducted December 20, 2017.
  3. “Nan Aron – Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Alliance for Justice. Accessed November 27 2017.
  4. “Alliance for Justice “. 2017. Activist Facts. Accessed November 27 2017.
  5. “Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Activist Facts. Accessed November 27 2017.
  6. “How Robert Bork Helped Make Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court Confirmation Possible”. 2017. Time. Accessed November 29 2017.
  7. “Her Idea Of Justice: Absolutely Not Alito”. 2017. Washingtonpost.Com. Accessed November 29 2017.
  8. “Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Activist Facts. Accessed December 12 2017.
  9. “Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Activist Facts. Accessed December 12 2017.
  10. Politics, The. 2017. “Lobbying Spending Database – Alliance for Justice, 2017 | Opensecrets”. Opensecrets.Org. Accessed December 12 2017.
  11. Alliance for Justice, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015. Accessed December 12 2017.
  12. “Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Activist Facts. Accessed December 12 2017.
  13. “Member Organizations – Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Alliance for Justice. Accessed December 12 2017.
  14. “Abby Levine – Alliance for Justice”. 2017. Alliance for Justice. Accessed December 12 2017.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Ken Grossinger
    Chairman of the Board
  2. Nan Aron
    Founder and President
  3. Christine Reeves-Strigaro
    Former Director of Foundation Programs
  4. Vernetta Walker
    Former Employee

Child Organizations

  1. Bolder Advocacy (Non-profit)

Coalition Members

  1. AARP (Non-profit)
  2. Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) (Non-profit)
  3. Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (Non-profit)
  4. Center for Law and Social Policy (Non-profit)
  5. Center For Reproductive Rights (Non-profit)
  6. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) (Non-profit)
  7. Children’s Defense Fund (Non-profit)
  8. Consumers Union (Non-profit)
  9. Drug Policy Alliance (Non-profit)
  10. Earthjustice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund) (Non-profit)
  11. Equal Rights Advocates (Non-profit)
  12. Food Research and Action Center (Non-profit)
  13. Human Rights Campaign Foundation (Non-profit)
  14. Justice Policy Institute (Non-profit)
  15. Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Non-profit)
  16. League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCVEF) (Non-profit)
  17. Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) (Non-profit)
  18. NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation (Non-profit)
  19. National Center for Lesbian Rights (Non-profit)
  20. National Education Association (NEA) (Labor Union)
  21. National Immigration Forum (Non-profit)
  22. National Immigration Law Center (Non-profit)
  23. National Low Income Housing Coalition (Non-profit)
  24. National Partnership for Women & Families (Non-profit)
  25. National Women’s Law Center (Non-profit)
  26. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (Non-profit)
  27. New York Lawyers for Public Interest (Non-profit)
  28. Physicians for Human Rights (Non-profit)
  29. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) (Non-profit)
  30. Sierra Club (Non-profit)
  31. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  32. Transgender Law Center (Non-profit)
  33. Wilderness Society (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1974

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form 990 $4,027,732 $4,501,534 $5,327,676 $965,281 N $3,418,052 $403,213 $40,302 $219,059 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $3,668,517 $4,450,942 $6,135,139 $1,166,030 N $3,295,379 $216,052 $28,288 $397,856 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $5,084,034 $4,264,390 $6,526,653 $900,844 N $4,851,550 $92,494 $22,021 $391,170 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $3,909,980 $4,109,755 $5,418,437 $733,000 N $3,747,507 $143,107 $62,223 $339,884 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $3,657,461 $3,785,279 $5,454,143 $716,803 N $3,495,271 $122,636 $83,375 $416,126 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Alliance for Justice

    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-1207