Beth Brinkmann is Senior Litigation Director, U.S. Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights. She leads the litigation strategy for the Center’s clients in federal and state courts across the United States to establish greater protections for reproductive rights, particularly as to abortion, maternal health, assisted reproduction, and contraception.
Beth began her career as a public interest litigator focused on voting rights, consumer protection, prisoners’ rights, environmental law, and constitutional rights. She next worked as a public defender representing indigent criminal defendants, including in a dozen criminal jury trials and multiple appellate matters.
Beth also has served in senior appellate leadership positions in the U.S. Department of Justice and led Appellate & Supreme Court Litigation practices at national law firms. Beth has argued 26 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, filed hundreds of briefs in that Court over the past decades, and has litigated extensively in other federal and state courts. Beth served as Assistant to the Solicitor General throughout the Clinton Administration representing the United States and its agencies and officials before the U.S. Supreme Court. She served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General throughout the Obama Administration, overseeing DOJ’s nationwide civil appellate litigation, including winning oral arguments in defense of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and challenging anti-immigration state legislation.
For the past 30 years, Beth has been involved in a range of matters related to protection of reproductive rights in the U.S., including defense of contraceptive coverage; government funding of stem cell research; protecting abortion clinic access; defending against prosecution based on drug use during pregnancy; access to medication abortion, and more. Beth has also worked with clients to ensure employee reproductive rights benefits, as well as to analyze constitutional and state law issues arising out of Dobbs, such as the right to travel, employee privacy, and data privacy.
Beth has been recognized as a leading national litigator, including as a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, recipient of the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, the Director’s Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Abraham Lincoln Award from the Secretary of Agriculture, and named a Law360 Appellate MVP and a top appellate lawyer by several national legal media.
Beth is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and received her J.D. from Yale Law School. After law school, Beth served as a law clerk for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court, and for Judge Phyllis Kravitch in Savannah, Georgia, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.