In the days following the Trump Administration's acknowledgment of their awareness of American Pastor Andrew Brunson's plight, members of the ACLJ's senior team held numerous meetings on Capitol Hill advocating for Pastor Andrew's freedom. Pastor Andrew Brunson – a U.S. citizen from North Carolina – has been imprisoned in an overcrowded prison cell in Turkey for more than six months. As the instability of the nation increases, justice and freedom for our fellow American becomes more pressing. read more
Over the last several years, many state legislatures around the nation have taken important steps towards upholding their mandates to protect the most vulnerable of their citizenry. Sixteen states have passed laws that ban abortions at the point at which the unborn baby with a heartbeat can feel pain. This legislation should be neither morally, ethically, nor scientifically controversial. Protecting pain-capable human beings from torture and death is a fundamental human right that legislators... read more
Our international affiliate, European Centre for Law and Justice’s office, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), has secured another victory in Pakistan. About four months ago, we reported that the OLA’s legal team was representing an elderly Christian woman, Bashiran Bibi, who was assaulted by an influential Muslim man for refusing to clean his house. When Bashiran brought the case to the police they refused to register it, likely after being bribed, despite having a medical report that listed... read more
“In God We Trust” – Our National Motto – is under attack again. If this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been defeating atheist Michael Newdow’s attempts to banish “under God” and “In God We Trust” in federal court for over a decade. This time his new federal lawsuit is full of the same failed...
Earlier this week, the attorney for Christian mom Asia Bibi confirmed that the Chief Justice of Pakistan has declined his client’s request for an early hearing for the final judicial appeal of her death sentence. While this is a heartbreaking development for the Christian mother of five spending her 2,362nd day imprisoned for her Christian faith, it also serves as a vital reminder of the need for our continued prayers and global advocacy on her behalf. Let us never forget that the controversy... read more
Yesterday, the Trump Administration outlined an auspicious tax-reform proposal that puts American jobs, industry, and the American people first. This proposal is designed to jumpstart the economy from its current sluggish growth trajectory of 2 percent to a more robust 3-4% annual growth. It simplifies the tax code, doubles the standard deduction, lowers tax brackets from seven brackets to three, and dramatically lowers the corporate tax to meet first-world standards. Just as importantly, since... read more
Yesterday – the day on which the United States and Israel observe Holocaust Remembrance Day – we sent a legal letter to the newly appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations to remind him that genocide is still a very real and ongoing issue and one the international community must stand against. It is indisputable that ISIS (the Islamic State) is targeting Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq because of their faith – with an intent to exterminate them – and these... read more
At Monday’s White House Press Briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the plight of American Pastor Andrew Brunson, wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey. Here’s the full exchange : This is hopeful and encouraging as our team at the ACLJ begins high-level meetings on Capitol Hill this week as part of our multi-pronged global advocacy to free Pastor Andrew and seek justice on behalf of him and his family. Because of your voice and support, our advocacy is working. But we must... read more
As Congress returns to Washington, D.C. after its two-week recess, it faces several urgent challenges that provide opportunities for practical and principled leadership. The time for courageous conviction and innovative leadership sacrificially serving all of the American people is now. In the coming days, there are a myriad of major policy moments confronting conservatives on Capitol Hill. Whether the issue is the passage of a government funding bill that prevents a government shutdown, or the... read more
The President’s revised Executive order, designed to protect our nation from foreign terrorists, continues to face attacks in numerous federal courts. Today we took direct action in federal appeals court. The Executive order temporarily pauses entry into the United States of refugees and nationals from six unstable and/or terrorism-infested countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The clear purpose of the Executive order is to allow time for needed improvements to the... read more
North Korea has said that the state of affairs on the Korean peninsula is "extremely perilous"due to the "madcap American nuclear war maneuvers aimed at trampling on our sovereignty and right to survival." The strategic patience is over with North Korea. Period.
Can the government target churches for exclusion from a child safety program, just because they are churches? That is the question before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer . The Supreme Court heard oral argument on April 19, and a decision is likely to issue by the end of June. The ACLJ filed two amicus briefs in the case and helped prepare the church's attorney for oral argument. The case is also notable as the first major religious liberty case heard... read more
With President Trump’s decision to launch Tomahawk Cruise missiles at a Syrian air base believed to be the source of chemical weapons that Syria’s President Assad used against his own people and the use of the largest non-nuclear bomb against ISIS in Afghanistan, the question of whether the President has the authority to take such actions is again in the news. This is not new. Pundits and politicians have asked this question, and some have raised objections, for years. The issue was raised, for... read more
The Trump administration is prompting a lot of change in Washington. Now, there’s a new call to get to the bottom of the corruption inside the Internal Revenue Service's well-coordinated scheme to target conservative organizations. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam have sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking the Department of Justice to re-open a probe of the conduct of former top IRS official Lois Lerner, who... read more
At the Ambassadors Against BDS International Summit at the U.N., ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow's message is as simple as it is important – We stand against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and we stand with Israel. Just as Jay did last year, he spoke on the world’s...
Next month will mark four years since we filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of 41 conservative nonprofit organizations against the IRS to put an end to the agency’s blatant viewpoint-based targeting of the groups when they first filed their applications for tax-exempt status. Despite (1) the public “apology” for the IRS’s initial targeting of the organizations issued by Lois Lerner in May 2013 , (2) the clear findings of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that the... read more
The United States military dropped America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Afghanistan Thursday, the first time this type of weapon has been used in battle, according to U.S. officials. A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the "Mother of All Bombs," was dropped at 7:32 pm local time. A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition. The bomb is exploded midair and the ensuing shock waves are capable of crushing buildings, caves and... read more
The press conference yesterday with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was illustrative of the real relationship between the United States and Russia. Tillerson’s sober countenance and markedly brief opening statement was reminiscent of the meeting years ago between President Reagan and then-Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland : Tillerson facial expressions said it all. He refused to put a positive spin on an unproductive meeting with a... read more
News of the Obama Administration’s politicization of the American intelligence apparatus breaks at an alarmingly consistent pace. With each passing day, what once appeared to be “rogue” actors look more and more like an orchestrated conspiracy where the conspirators’ marching orders come from the highest levels. But at the ACLJ, we’re not just talking about these developments, we’re taking action. This week we have taken our most significant legal action yet to hold bad actors accountable – read more
It is outrageous, unconscionable, and illegal. Even so, mounting evidence indicates that the Obama Administration and its loyalists had a habit of using information gleaned from classified foreign surveillance to smear and perhaps blackmail its political opponents. In fact, whether it’s the IRS scandal or spying on Israeli officials lobbying against the Iran nuclear deal, the practice didn’t begin in 2016. Even if the original collection of information may have been legal, under current... read more
This Holy Week, as I gather together with my family, we celebrate the risen Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross on Good Friday and was resurrected three days later on Easter Sunday, overcoming sin and death for each of us. He was the ultimate Passover lamb. With Easter, we celebrate life, we celebrate freedom, and we celebrate our eternal hope. Matthew 28 : 1-10 reminds us of how the truth of Easter Sunday changes everything: After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary... read more
(The following is part 2 of Ep. 423.) The United Nation's Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), released a preposterous report (one they've since pulled) that declares that Israel was an “apartheid state.” Further, it outrageously recommends bringing the State of Israel “to an...
Today the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), along with its co-counsel, filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking rehearing in the appeal involving the undercover investigation of the abortion industry conducted by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). In particular, we asked that eleven judges of the court consider this important case (otherwise known as en banc or full court review). The ACLJ represents a former CMP board member in this lawsuit filed by the... read more
Last week, the ACLJ achieved yet another victory against one of the longest-running scandals, the Obama Administration’s IRS targeting of Tea Party and other grassroots conservative groups. After waiting for more than seven years, we are happy to report that the Tri-Cities Tea Party based in Washington state has now received their tax-exemption. The bureaucratic nightmare began when the group originally filed their 501(c)(4) application in March of 2010. The IRS did little or nothing with... read more
As Christians gathered in Egypt to celebrate Palm Sunday, ISIS (Islamic State) jihadists struck with two bombs. The blasts killed at least 47 and injured more than 100 others. In the minority Christian community increasingly persecuted in Egypt, this is a heartbreaking jihadist terrorist attack occurring on one of the holiest days of the year. ISIS’s intent is clear: eradicate Christians. It is spreading its ongoing genocide of Christians across the globe. The Wall Street Journal has more... read more
On the heels of Pastor Andrew Brunson’s wife personal meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concerning the wrongful imprisonment of her husband, she received a personal letter from Vice President Pence assuring that “Andrew’s case remains a top priority of the U.S. government….” In the letter, Vice President Pence wrote, “I can assure you both that the State Department and this White House, under President Trump’s leadership, consider Andrew’s release and reunification with you and... read more
Never again. Those words have echoed through history during the decades since the Holocaust ended. Inscribed on a memorial outside the gates of the Dachau concentration camp. Enshrined in the spirit of the 1948 Genocide Convention. Spoken from the lips of countless diplomats and world leaders. And...
On April 7th, 1994, terror broke out across Rwanda. Mobs of Rwandan Hutus armed with machetes marched through the streets with a singular purpose – to “kill the cockroaches.” In a systematic campaign to rid the country of ethnic Tutsis, the slaughter went on for 100 days. Neighbors killed neighbors. Husbands killed wives. And the world watched in horror as 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the streets, in churches, and even in their own beds. Yet, the international community remained virtually... read more
Today is a good day for the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. Moments ago, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch by a vote of 54-45 to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. From the time when Justice Scalia passed away last year, the question of who would fill his seat has prompted debate on Capitol Hill, on the campaign trail, and throughout America. We urged the Senate to follow tradition and give the American people a voice... read more
In his first major decision using his Constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief, President Trump ordered fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missile strikes against Syria . This decisive military action was in direct response to Syria’s President Assad once again using chemical weapons against his own people. The “ red line ” established by former President Obama, and then ignored, was finally enforced by his successor. The operation bears all the hallmarks of strong, decisive—yet... read more
It’s about time that an American President projected strength, principle, and fortitude on the world’s stage in the face of terror and tragedy. Gone (thankfully) are the Obama/Kerry apologists who talked tough (like drawing a “red line” over Syrian use of chemical weapons), yet never seemed to muster the courage to act (as when the Assad regime actually called President Obama’s bluff and used chemical weapons on its own people). The Middle East is a region where strength is respected and... read more
Today marks six months that American Pastor Andrew Brunson, a United States citizen from North Carolina, has been unjustly held in Turkey. Languishing in a prison cell built for eight, which at times holds as many as 22 prisoners, of which Pastor Andrew is always the only Christian, he wonders if he has been forgotten . And just what crime has Pastor Andrew committed? He literally has no idea. Under the current State of Emergency in Turkey, his file has been sealed and all visits from his... read more
The Christian community in Sudan has faced increased persecution this week at the hands of Sudanese authorities. For years the Sudanese Christian church has encountered church demolitions , property confiscations, and unjust imprisonments , and this week those troubles only intensified. First, the Administration court in Khartoum dismissed a case that would have prohibited the Sudanese government from demolishing at least 25 churches in the Khartoum area. In a June 13, 2016 letter from the... read more
Each day brings new headlines about the troubling surveillance of President Trump and his team by the Obama Administration. It’s time for an independent investigation--and a grand jury. The more we learn the worse it gets. This week bombshell revelations show that President Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, unmasked the names of Trump transition members caught up in Obama Administration surveillance. That unmasked intelligence was then widely disseminated and leaked to numerous... read more
The world woke up on Tuesday to horrifying images and news out of Syria. Syrian government planes carried out chemical weapon attacks on its own civilians, killing at least 70 men, women, and children in Idlib. At least another 100 continue to be treated in hospitals. While the Syrian military denied responsibility, Russia—whose alliance with Syria has led to numerous incidents competing with U.S. national security interests—claimed that the Assad regime was acting against a “terrorist... read more
There are new developments every day providing more facts concerning whether members of the Obama Administration, actively colluding with both the government bureaucracy and compliant members of the media, have engaged in a crusade to delegitimize the incoming administration. Here's what we know. First, the Trump transition team was caught up in surveillance conducted by the Obama Administration. Second someone in the Obama Administration unmasked the names of those on the Trump transition team... read more
Judge Gorsuch epitomizes everything a great Supreme Court justice should be. He is an originalist, textualist, and believes in upholding the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution, leaving the law making to the other branches of government. Every American and U.S. Senator of any political persuasion should celebrate him as the model of judicial excellence. The left-leaning American Bar Association gave Judge Gorsuch their highest possible rating, “well qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court of... read more
Today, the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The brief defends the constitutionality of the revised Executive Order that protects our country from the entry of foreign terrorists. The brief was joined by over 205,000 members of the ACLJ’s Committee to Defend Our National Security from Terror . The appeal involves a preliminary injunction entered by a federal trial judge in Maryland that... read more
Yesterday on Capitol Hill, as I was meeting with our nation’s leaders discussing the need to defund Planned Parenthood, the Senate passed a bill that rolls back a last-minute Obama Administration regulation that banned states from defunding the nation’s largest abortion provider. With Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote, this bill now goes to President Trump’s desk for his signature. I wrote about this regulation in the final days of the Obama Administration: As his Administration... read more
Millions have been displaced and slaughtered. Christians and other religious minorities have been decimated in the cradle of Christianity, in the region where the Islamic State’s (ISIS) reign of terror brings brutality and genocide. More than 283,000 of you have spoken out and signed our petition. Our global advocacy has led to the U.S. State Department, European Parliament, and other entities around the world to formally recognize the ISIS genocide against Christians and other religious... read more
The wife of imprisoned American Pastor Andrew Brunson has just met with U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson on his trip to Turkey. The 20-minute meeting took place in Ankara, Turkey as the Secretary of State held a series of meetings with senior Turkish officials. This meeting occurred just a few days after Pastor Andrew made a direct personal appeal to the Trump Administration to secure his freedom. This is a powerful sign that the Trump Administration is taking the plight of this wrongfully... read more
Today I went to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City for the “Ambassadors Against BDS – International Summit at the UN” hosted by the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN. My keynote address was titled, “We Stand Against the BDS Movement.” I discussed our multi-pronged advocacy in defense of Israel on the world’s stage and how we’ve successfully defeated numerous anti-Israel initiatives and movements. Watch the complete address above. Thank you so much. It is great to be with... read more
Five months ago, we sent an emergency advocacy letter to Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, demanding that Pakistan release Asia Bibi—the Christian mother of five currently on death row in Pakistan under false charges of blasphemy. The Government of Pakistan has still not taken any action on her case yet. Recently, members of our legal team met with Saif ul Malook, Asia Bibi’s attorney in Pakistan, informed him of our international efforts for Asia, and offered any assistance we can... read more
I’m on my way to New York City to speak at the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow. At the Ambassadors Against BDS International Summit at the U.N., my message is as simple as it is important – We stand against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and we stand with Israel. Just as I did last year , I’m speaking on the world’s stage to defend Israel, our greatest ally and the greatest bastion of human rights, democracy, and freedom in the Middle East. I’m taking... read more
American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey for his Christian faith spoke with U.S. embassy officials today, pleading with President Trump, “please help me.” Pastor Andrew – a U.S. citizen – faces false charges in Turkey of “membership in an armed terrorist organization.” After peacefully serving the people of Turkey for more than 23 years without any issues from the Turkish government, this U.S. citizen now languishes in prison. Pastor Andrew delivered the following... read more
The United Nation's Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), released a preposterous report (one they've since pulled) that declares that Israel was an “apartheid state.” Further, it outrageously recommends bringing the State of Israel “to an end.” The report, which the U.N.
This week, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee for Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit represent a critical time for the Supreme Court and our nation. Judge Gorsuch is exceedingly qualified to fill the seat of the late...
Today, the ACLJ filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to intervene in a critically important First Amendment free speech case on behalf of three California crisis pregnancy centers (“CPCs”). In October of 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the so-called “ Reproductive FACT Act .” This pro-abortion law requires licensed pregnancy centers, including CPCs, to tell every one of their clients, no matter the reason for their visit, that they might be able to obtain... read more
This week, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee for Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit represent a critical time for the Supreme Court and our nation. Judge Gorsuch is exceedingly qualified to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch embraces the Constitution and the rule of law. Obstructionists are vowing to oppose this nominee because of his conservative judicial philosophy. read more
This past week, the United Nation's Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), released a preposterous report declaring that Israel was an “apartheid state.” Further, it outrageously recommends bringing the State of Israel “to an end.” The report, which the U.N. Secretary General has already asked to be taken down from its site (although the executive summary of the anti-Semitic report is still on the U.N.’s website), would be laughable if it was not so dangerous. By way of... read more