The jihadist genocide against Christians has spread to Egypt. Nearly a dozen jihadist militants opened fire on a bus packed with Christians en route to a Christian monastery. It was a massacre, slaughtering at least 26 Christians including many children and injuring dozens more. As CBS News reports , No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has an affiliate in Egypt, based in the northern Sinai peninsula, which has claimed a... read more
Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision upholding an injunction imposed against the President’s Executive Order that is designed to protect our nation from foreign terrorists. Ten judges (all placed on the court by Democratic Presidents) voted in favor of the injunction and three judges (all appointed by Republican Presidents) opposed the injunction. The majority upheld the nationwide injunction preventing section 2(c) of the Executive Order from... read more
“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” ---Winston Churchill Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States to remember all those who have died in military service to the nation. The holiday originated in the South immediately after the end of the American Civil War. Southern women in Georgia and Mississippi, grieving for the loss of a huge portion of the male population, organized “Decoration Days” on... read more
Each and every time another dastardly jihadist terrorist attack is inflicted on the world, headlines emerge that the savagery was carried out by a “lone wolf” terrorist. As a lawyer who deals in facts, the absurdity of this concept is beyond the pale. The mountain of evidence that has been amassed in the wake of dozens upon dozens of radical Islamic terrorist attacks points to one and only one conclusion – there is nothing lone about jihadist terrorism. To be sure, there have been instances of... read more
Last night, in the midst of a concert in Manchester, United Kingdom, an ISIS suicide bomber struck the heart of Europe, killing 22 innocent people and injuring dozens more. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the United Kingdom. A massive explosion ripped through a concert hall where an American singer was performing, sending young children and teenagers fleeing in every direction. It was a sophisticated terrorist attack. It was a targeted, horrific attack. This was not a random... read more
A federal court in Washington, DC just ordered the State Department bureaucracy to produce documents to the ACLJ at the highest rate since the election. This is the most significant progress we have made against the deep state bureaucracy that has continually thwarted federal law – refusing to turn over key documents related to government corruption. The ACLJ had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit more than six months ago seeking records regarding the “favor” that the State... read more
As the President visits Saudi Arabia , the implications for foreign policy and national security, including the ongoing fight against radical Islamic jihad, are strategic and striking. The President will also travel to Israel following his meetings with Arab leaders. The trip’s significance and possible ramifications are numerous. With a follow-on trip to the Vatican, this marks the first time a U.S. President will visit the centers of the world’s three major religions in one trip abroad. The... read more
“It is axiomatic that ‘the government must abstain from regulating [or penalizing] speech when the motivating ideology or the opinion or perspective of the speaker is the rationale for the restriction,” and it is beyond dispute that the government may not “reserve special hostility for those who take their religion seriously [or] who think that their religion should affect the whole of their lives.” See Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the Univ. of Va. , 515 U.S. 819, 829 (1995)and Mitchell... read more
The ACLJ has been named as the top organization for “Positive Cultural Change in the U.S.” in a recent survey. The survey of politically engaged Christians across the U.S. conducted by the American Culture & Faith Institute asked respondents “to identify the organizations they believed to have been most effective at leading positive cultural change in the U.S. during 2016.” The report found that “Topping the list w[as] the American Center for Law & Justice (chosen by 35%).” The full results of... read more
I just received a call from the Vice President’s office. President Trump and Vice President Pence raised the case of American Pastor Andrew Brunson three times today with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This is exactly what we asked the President to do and is a major sign of significant progress toward bringing Pastor Andrew home. Pastor Andrew – a U.S. citizen – has been wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey for more than seven months because of his Christian faith. Today, Turkish... read more
A stated purpose of the United Nations (U.N.) is to suppress “acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.” Currently, ISIS is aggressively targeting Christians in acts of genocide. This is why we have submitted yet another statement requesting that the U.N. “join other international bodies and formally recognise that the ongoing atrocities committed by ISIS against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the region constitute... read more
It’s clear that the liberal media and the political Left will do anything they can to derail President Trump and his administration. The latest example is the laser-like focus on a bogus news story hatched by the Washington Post: That President Trump revealed classified material, including highly classified intelligence sources, to the Russians during his meeting at the White House last week. That story seems to have taken on a life of its own despite strong and unequivocal denials from the... read more
Earlier this year, I wrote about the significant pro-life victory when President Trump reinstated Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy to prohibit the use of U.S. taxpayer money in foreign aid to organizations that either fund or promote abortions around the world. President Trump did exactly what every previous Republican president since Reagan did, as laid out in our comprehensive legal memo on the policy. But yesterday, the White House launched an expanded version of the Mexico City Policy... read more
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, California, is the second federal appellate court within the past two weeks to consider the President’s revised immigration Executive Order, designed to protect our nation from foreign terrorists. As reported last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, sitting en banc in Richmond, Virginia, also heard oral argument in a separate legal challenge to the Executive Order. The Executive Order... read more
Today we submitted a formal written statement to the United Nations (U.N.) Human Rights Council on behalf of American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is currently unjustly imprisoned in Turkey because of his Christian faith. Pastor Andrew is a U.S. citizen from North Carolina, and has peacefully served the people of Turkey as a pastor for over 23 years. As we’ve explained before, all that changed last fall when, “following a failed military coup, Turkey began a crackdown that has disappointingly... read more
How could France censor a pro-life video message of people with Down Syndrome talking about how much they love life and love their mothers? Our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), has just filed a legal application with the European Court of Human Rights to challenge this absurd ruling. Originally broadcast on World Down Syndrome Day in 2014, the video Dear Future Mom addresses a strong and comforting message to pregnant women who are expecting a Down syndrome... read more
I just left a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office where I raised the case of American Pastor Andrew Brunson – who is wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey for his Christian faith – among other pressing legal issues to our country. I told the President about the hundreds of thousands of you who are calling for the release of Pastor Andrew. I respectfully urged him to bring up Pastor Andrew’s case in the President’s planned meeting with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, early... read more
We are on the verge of decisive victories for the American people. The U.S. House of Representatives just voted to overhaul ObamaCare and eliminate nearly half a billion dollars of funding for Planned Parenthood by passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as part of its Budget Reconciliation...
President Donald Trump has just fired FBI Director James Comey. President Trump’s letter states that Comey is “not able to effectively lead the Bureau.” President Trump's action is not only appropriate, but represents the correct action taken against Comey who has become a renegade FBI Director. Comey serves at the pleasure of the President. And once President Trump lost confidence in the leadership of Comey, he acted on the recommendations of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General. read more
Yesterday, the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit—all thirteen active appellate judges—heard oral argument in the appeal of the Maryland federal trial judge’s injunction that halts the enforcement of the President’s revised Executive Order that protects our country from foreign terrorists. Full court (otherwise known as en banc ) consideration is rare and underscores the importance of this case. The Executive Order temporarily pauses entry into the United States of... read more
As many legislative bodies do, the Jackson County, Michigan, Board of Commissioners starts its meetings with a prayer. The American Center for Law and Justice (“ACLJ”) has filed an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit supporting the practice. We argue that the legislative prayers said during the Board meetings are constitutional. Jackson County allows each Commissioner, on a rotating basis, to give a brief invocation during... read more
On Tuesday, while the State of Israel celebrated 69 years of independence, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) took the time to vote on yet another resolution condemning the Jewish State for existing within its own historical borders . In theory, UNESCO’s purpose “is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of... read more
We are on the verge of decisive victories for the American people. Yesterday , the U.S. House of Representatives voted to overhaul ObamaCare and eliminate nearly half a billion dollars of funding for Planned Parenthood by passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as part of its Budget Reconciliation process. This moment has been a long time coming. During the past seven years, ObamaCare, introduced with great fanfare and unrivaled deception, enforced harsh individual and employer mandates. It... read more
(The following is part 2 of Episode 427.) Absurdly, the Internal Revenue Service approved tax exemption for a "satan group" in a record ten days. This, after the IRS has admitted to intentionally targeting conservative groups since at least 2011. It has admitted that it searched tax applications...
Absurdly, the Internal Revenue Service approved tax exemption for a "satan group" in a record ten days. This, after the IRS has admitted to intentionally targeting conservative groups since at least 2011. It has admitted that it searched tax applications for words like “Tea Party” and even...
The House of Representatives has just voted to repeal ObamaCare and defund Planned Parenthood. This is a tremendous pro-life, pro-freedom victory for all Americans. We’ve been fighting for this for the better part of a decade. We're very pleased that the House has followed through with one of President Trump's key promises to America: the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. We have advocated for an ObamaCare repeal for a long time, and today the House acted – your voice was heard. With the... read more
Can a public school board offer a prayer or invocation prior to a meeting of the board? As we argue in a brief filed with the Ninth Circuit today, the answer to that question is yes . In 2014, the Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education adopted a resolution permitting local religious leaders, on a rotating basis, to say a prayer before the beginning of a school board meeting. The purpose of the invocation is to “solemnize proceedings . . . for the benefit of the Board of... read more
As a raft of leftist news media outlets, commentators and administrators renounce their support for the First Amendment in order to censor free speech, the escalating war on freedom of speech and the Constitution threatens everyone. Craven assaults on the Constitution and our civil liberties by media and university elites, as well as government bureaucrats, cannot go unanswered. Conservatives, Jewish students, pro-Israel organizations and pro-life supporters face bullying assaults from... read more
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...