Building Upon 2015’s Victories to Overcome 2016’s Challenges
Thanks to the engagement of ACLJ members supporting our work, signing our petitions, and sharing our important advocacy with friends, we achieved numerous significant victories around the world in 2015. For the past several weeks we’ve been outlining this year’s success in our 2015 Victories Series, discussing how we effectively defended liberty and freedom around the globe.
We couldn’t have done any of this important work without you.
At home, we’ve successfully held back a number of President Obama’s unconstitutional Executive overreaches. On behalf of thousands of you and dozens of Members of Congress, we filed numerous briefs at multiple federal courts. Each time, the courts have agreed with us defending the Constitution against the President’s lawless Executive action. As the Obama Administration takes this battle to the Supreme Court in 2016, we’ll continue the fight.
On college campuses, we won a huge court case reinstating a conservative professor who was unlawfully fired for exposing academic fraud, protected Christian and Jewish students from anti-Israel attacks, and helped secure a Christian campus ministry’s right to select its own leaders according to the tenets of their Christian faith.
We successfully defended the First Amendment rights of pro-life sidewalk counselors, who save lives every day through their ministry to women in need, against unconstitutional ordinances limiting their free speech. We’ve been aggressively litigating for life in nearly a dozen pro-life cases, defending common-sense abortion restrictions and pro-life work. On Capitol Hill, our Government Affairs team helped ensure historic pro-life legislation was passed after years of failed votes and stalling procedures from big abortion and pro-abortion politicians. Finally, we achieved a big victory for a pro-life pediatrician fired after requesting a religious accommodation of her beliefs against dispensing abortion pills.
In addition, we are preparing two critical Supreme Court amicus briefs to be filed in the coming weeks. First, we are filing to defend a pro-life Texas law that is saving thousands of lives and protecting women. Second, we are filing to protect the religious liberty of pro-life ministries and Christian nuns from being forced to pay for and participate in distributing abortion pills. Both cases are critically important and litigation we have been involved in for years.
Fighting back against the Obama Administration’s out-of-control bureaucracy continued this year with my second New York Times bestselling book, “Undemocratic: How Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats are Stealing Your Liberty and Freedom.” The fight to hold the IRS accountable continued in multiple federal court cases and on Capitol Hill. As we near the end of the year, we achieved a big victory in one case forcing the IRS to follow the law and turn over documents they had tried to withhold. We’re continuing to press forward in federal appeals court to defend dozens of conservative groups who were targeted by the IRS as the year draws to a close.
Around the world, we defended persecuted Christians in Pakistan, freeing a Christian from forced labor, protecting Christians from false criminal charges, and helping reinstate a Christian schoolteacher fired for her faith. We helped rescue child brides from sexual abuse in Kenya, helping to ensure they are safe and secure in a primary school.
In Sudan, our aggressive global advocacy helped secure the freedom of Christian Pastors Michael and Peter from wrongful imprisonment and possible death sentences. But in the last several months, more Christian churches have been demolished and four more Christians have been arrested. In 2016, we must continue the fight for true religious freedom across the globe.
In Iran, we continue advocating for the dozens of Christians wrongfully imprisoned, including American Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been imprisoned for more than three years because of his Christian faith, in addition to the other Americans still wrongfully imprisoned after the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. Thankfully, Christian Pastor Farshid Fathi was just released by Iranian authorities after serving five grueling years of a seven-year sentence for his faith. Our voices can make the difference.
We continue to fight on Capitol Hill and around the world to protect our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ from the genocide waged against them by ISIS. We continue to urge U.S. leaders to do the right thing in calling this genocide what it is, thus providing critical international legal protections to save these targeted Christians from ISIS slaughter. We also just filed a critical amicus brief at the European Court of Human Rights concerning this genocide against Christians and other religious minorities.
While we’ve had many victories, the fight is far from over. In addition to fighting to free the newly imprisoned Pastors in Sudan and urging the U.S. to take the lead in destroying ISIS, we continue our work in courts to protect common-sense pro-life laws, fight the abortion-pill mandate, defend conservative groups against unconstitutional IRS targeting, defend Israel on the international stage, and much more.
We can’t do this important legal work without your help. Consider an end-of-year Tax-Deductible donation today, and it will be doubled dollar-for-dollar through our Matching Challenge to ensure we can build off our landmark victories of 2015 to continue these important fights in 2016.
Thank you, and have a very happy and blessed New Year.