Philip Hamburger, President

Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Professor Philip Hamburger is a scholar of constitutional law and its history at Columbia Law School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. Before coming to Columbia, he was the John P. Wilson Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. He also taught at George Washington University Law School, Northwestern Law School, University of Virginia Law School, and the University of Connecticut Law School. Professor Hamburger’s contributions are unrivaled by any U.S. legal scholar in driving the national conversations on the First Amendment and the separation of church and state and on administrative power. His work on administrative power has been celebrated by organizations like the Manhattan Institute and the Bradley Foundation, among others.

His most recent publications include:


Mark Chenoweth

Executive Director & General Counsel

NCLA's Executive Director and General Counsel, Mark Chenoweth, has observed the administrative state up close and personal from perches in all four branches of the federal government. Mark served as the first chief of staff to Congressman Mike Pompeo, as legal counsel to Commissioner Anne Northup at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as an attorney advisor in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a law clerk to the Hon. Danny J. Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 


Mark has worked in several different roles in the private sector as well.  He began his legal career in D.C. as a regulatory associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. He then returned to his home state of Kansas to serve as in-house counsel for Koch Industries. Most recently he spent over four years as general counsel of the Washington Legal Foundation.


Mark is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Chicago Law School, where he co-founded the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship and became a Tony Patiño Fellow. He is slated to serve as an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School in the Fall. Mark has been widely quoted and/or published in newspapers and websites including the New York TimesSan Francisco ChronicleNew Hampshire Union Leader, and Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. He has also had recurring op-eds in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and at (202) 869-5209


Margaret a. Little

Senior Litigation Counsel

Peggy Little, Senior Counsel, comes to NCLA with over three decades of experience as a trial and appellate litigator in complex, high-stakes regulatory, mass-tort, class-action, products liability, securities, commercial and civil rights litigation representing individuals and high-profile litigants including Fortune 50 companies, financial institutions, public companies, and universities in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.   

Peggy is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, where she was awarded the Potter Stewart Prize.  She was a law clerk to the Hon. Ralph K. Winter on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Prior to starting her own trial and appellate law firm in 1997, where she was appellate consulting counsel to the New Haven firefighters in Ricci v.DeStefano, a landmark 2009 United States Supreme Court decision, Peggy was a partner at Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn in New Haven, Connecticut.   From 2004 to early 2018, Peggy directed, part-time, the Federalist Society Pro Bono Center.

Peggy has participated in many national conferences and symposia addressing issues of current importance in constitutional law – specifically state and federal constitutional questions regarding the separation of powers and the first amendment – and regularly speaks, blogs and publishes on the topic of the unconstitutional exercise of governmental power.   In May of 2017, she presented her paper, Pirates at the Parchment Gates, to a conference of state and federal judges at the Law and Economics Center at the Antonin Scalia Law School.  Her work has been published by law reviews, legal publications, the Federalist Society, the Wall Street Journal, Law and Liberty and the Manhattan Institute.                                          (202) 869-5212 


Michael P. DeGrandis

Senior Litigation Counsel

Prior to joining NCLA as Senior Litigation Counsel, Mike DeGrandis specialized in complex commercial litigation defense, spending most of his legal career at Hunton & Williams LLP, before starting his own law firm. Through the course of his private litigation practice, Mike developed expertise in developing and implementing strategies to mitigate risk for organizations under acute regulatory pressure, to conduct precise large-scale internal corporate investigations, and to execute dynamic offensive and defensive discovery and e-discovery tactics.

Preceding his legal career, Mike served as Vice President of Research & Development at the National Center for Housing Management. Mike designed educational programs to teach federally subsidized affordable housing managers how to comply with frequently litigated statutory authority such as the Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities Acts, and how to implement complex Department of Housing and Urban Development rules, regulations, and guidance.

Mike is a graduate of the Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, Virginia, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of George Mason Law Review. Prior to his tenure as Editor-in- Chief, George Mason Law Review published his casenote, Atkins v. Virginia: Nothing Left of the Independent Legislative Power to Punish and Define Crime, 11 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 805 (2003), which continues to be cited by courts and legal scholars. Mike graduated magna cum laude from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, with a B.A. in Politics.                                    (202) 869-5208


Steve Simpson

Senior Litigation Counsel

Steve Simpson, Senior Litigation Counsel, has spent the better part of his career fighting for freedom as a lawyer, speaker, writer and activist.

Beginning in 2001, Steve spent over 12 years litigating constitutional cases at the Institute for Justice. Among other cases in which Steve was involved, he was co-counsel in Arizona Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, IJ’s successful Supreme Court challenge to Arizona’s public financing law for political campaigns; he was the lead litigator v. FEC, the case that created super PACs; he was on the legal team in IJ’s landmark eminent domain case, Kelo v. City of New London, and in its successful challenge to New York’s ban on the interstate shipping of wine, Swedenburg v. Kelly. In 2013, Steve moved into the policy arena as the Ayn Rand Institute’s Director of legal studies, where he spent five years writing and speaking on a wide variety of legal and philosophical issues. He is the editor of Defending Free Speech (ARI Press, 2016).

Steve has spoken and written widely on legal issues, including freedom of speech, campaign finance law, and regulation. He has testified in Congress and briefed congressional staffers. He has been interviewed on scores of television and radio programs, including PBS News Hour and Stossel. His writings have appeared in many publications, includingThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostThe HillLegal Times, and Slate. Steve is a frequent speaker at Federalist Society chapter events. During 2017 and 2018, Steve participated in a series of campus events on free speech with Dave Rubin, host of the popular YouTube talk show, The Rubin Report, along with guests such as Heather Mac Donald and Flemming Rose. In 2014, he was a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute.

Steve earned his law degree from New York Law School in 1994. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Lenore C. Nesbitt in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and spent several years as a litigator at Shearman & Sterling.


Caleb Kruckenberg

Litigation Counsel

Caleb Kruckenberg, Litigation Counsel, comes to NCLA with broad legal experience, often adverse to the government. Caleb developed his principled opposition to the administrative state from his experiences as a criminal defense attorney, after witnessing one too many prosecutions arising from technical violations of impenetrable regulations.

Before joining NCLA, Caleb represented clients in diverse matters at both the trial and appellate level in a variety of jurisdictions. He began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, then served as an Assistant Public Defender for the State of New Mexico. He later transitioned to serve as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of New Mexico. Most recently, Caleb worked as a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in Philadelphia, and as an advocate for criminal justice reform for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Caleb is at home in almost any legal forum, and has tried cases before juries and argued appellate matters all over the country, sometimes in the same week. Caleb received his J.D., cum laude, from Temple University, Beasley School of Law, where he was the Lead Articles Editor of the Temple Law Review. He also holds a B.A. in fine art from the University of Kansas. In a prior life, Caleb studied figurative painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which was founded in 1805 and was the first art school in the United States.                                      (202) 869-5217


Judy Pino

Communications & Marketing Director

Judy Pino is Communications & Marketing Director of the New Civil Liberties Alliance. She is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of combined experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors and has appeared as guest in top-tier media including FOX, MSNBC and CNN amongst others, talking about issues that impact the daily lives of Americans —especially as it pertains to our Constitutional freedoms.

She began her career in South Florida as news director for WJAN AmericaTeve 41, where she built and ran daily operations for the station’s first news broadcast. Judy eventually went on to become news anchor and received the “Communicator Award” for news coverage of Guantanamo Military Base in Cuba. Judy has appeared on numerous expert panels and also worked for the Miami Herald Newspaper, ABC, Univision, and Telemundo as a journalist, host, and producer.

From 2003-2009 she served as media liaison at the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC, where she won "Aurora" and "Telly" awards for two environmental film documentaries produced and directed by her. She is also a recipient of the EPA Gold Medal of Excellence.

As Communications & Marketing Director for the nonprofit organization, The LIBRE Initiative, Judy ran national operations of press, marketing and digital strategy turning LIBRE into the go-to-resource for media on issues affecting Hispanic Americans and economic freedom.

Judy is a graduate from the University of Miami with a B.S. degree in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.                                      (202) 869-5218


Lauren McDonald

Director of Development

Lauren McDonald is Director of Development for New Civil Liberties Alliance. Prior to joining NCLA, Lauren McDonald worked at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law in the Office of Alumni and Development and managed the law school’s annual giving programs and donor stewardship.  Before her time at CUA Law, she worked at the Washington Legal Foundation in development and public affairs.

Lauren participated in the Koch Associate Program and graduated from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in politics and a minor in economics.                          (202) 869-5213