MAURICE A. THOMPSON – Executive Director

Maurice Thompson has directed the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law since founding it in 2008.  In that time, he has prevailed in state and federal courts in lawsuits advancing health care freedom, private property rights, taxpayer rights, school choice, political speech, commercial speech, ballot access, and voter integrity, while taking on institutions such as state and federal government agencies, local governments across Ohio, ACORN, teachers’ unions, public universities, corporate welfare and cronyism, and smoking bans.

Mr. Thompson has also authored and advanced voter initiatives to advance health care freedom, repeal the Ohio estate tax, reform public employee pensions, and introduce workplace freedom to Ohio.  All the while, Thompson is the author of Presuming Liberty: Using Ohio’s Constitution to Limit GovernmentDefending Liberty in Ohio: A Roadmap for Protecting Freedom and Limiting Government with the State Constitution, and the forward to Ohio’s Pocket Constitution, along with numerous other publications on law and policy in Ohio.

Mr. Thompson is a regular guest on state and national radio programs, and frequently lectures on natural rights law, constitutionalism, individual rights, education policy, health care policy, and property rights.  Although Mr. Thompson has enjoyed stints in the free-market public policy world with the National Taxpayers Union in Washington D.C. and Sam Adams Foundation in Chicago, he is a native Ohioan.  He grew up on his family’s farm in Northwest Ohio, has run several businesses in Ohio, undertook undergraduate studies in economics and philosophy at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and studied law at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Email Maurice Thompson here.


Kelsey E. Hackem is a staff attorney at the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law.  Kelsey primarily litigates cases to promote economic liberty, protect political speech, and secure property rights. Previously, she worked as a law clerk at a Philadelphia litigation firm and has done extensive volunteer work on various constitutional issues, particularly those relating to criminal law reform. Kelsey’s experience also includes an in-house position with a fortune 50 company and work with the Federal Public Defender.

Kelsey is a native of the Midwest, born and raised in southeast Michigan.  She received her law degree from Villanova University School of Law, achieving the Dorothy Day award for pro bono work.  Additionally, she served as Vice-President of the Federalist Society and Board Administrator of the Moot Court Board.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida.

Kelsey is a member of the bar in Ohio and Michigan.

Email Kelsey Hackem here.