Abigail A. Southerland | American Center for Law and Justice
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Abigail A. Southerland

Abigail Southerland serves as Senior Litigation Counsel with the ACLJ. She specializes in First Amendment litigation and represents clients across the country in both state and federal courts, from complaint through trial and appeal. Abigail obtained a key victory for religious employers in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She presented oral argument before the court, securing the first decision issued by a U.S. court of appeals since the Supreme Court’s decision in Hosanna-Tabor, that a religious organization’s right to choose its ministers and spiritual leaders free from federal and state government interference – a protection known as the ministerial exception – is a limitation imposed on the government that cannot be waived. Abigail represents a variety of clients including private individuals, non-profit organizations, school boards and local government bodies. Abigail is a 2007 graduate of Regent University School of Law where she served as Managing Editor of the Regent Journal of International Law and authored a note published in the journal addressing the conflict between First Amendment freedoms and antidiscrimination laws.

Latest By
Abigail A. Southerland

Political Discrimination by Employers Is on the Rise

By Abigail A. Southerland1594650058923

In the months and days leading up to a presidential election, there is always an increase in political discourse. This year is certainly no different. It would seem that this election cycle is one of the most contentious in our history. In the past, political discourse and the free and respectful...

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ACLJ Obtains Key Ruling in Our Case to Defend a Church Ministry

By Abigail A. Southerland1591711995644

We’ve got a positive update in our case to defend a church from unlawful discrimination. A federal court has ruled that the ACLJ, on behalf of the Christian ministry it represents, can move forward with its lawsuit against a county in Georgia challenging the discriminatory zoning process engaged in...

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What Are Churches’ Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

By Abigail A. Southerland1590163715698

There is no doubt that the current national COVID-19 crisis has required the imposition of extraordinary measures. These measures have required countless businesses, churches, and gathering places to close, and naturally raise concerns regarding the preservation of civil liberties and religious...

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ACLJ Secures Victory Allowing Religious Symbols to Stand

By Abigail A. Southerland1586178000000

Recently, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) intervened on behalf of a Christian resident of a senior housing complex who was instructed to remove her crosses from her outdoor garden area pursuant to a so-called policy banning all religious décor. Although both crosses are small – each...

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More By
Abigail A. Southerland

New Year, New Victories Across the Country

By Abigail A. Southerland1578927556681

VICTORY: ACLJ Helps Church Choir Perform at Festival

By Abigail A. Southerland1569959799007

Protecting Teachers from Forced Buddhist-Based Mindfulness

By Abigail A. Southerland1568928568700

ACLJ Files New Lawsuit to Defend Religious Organization

By Abigail A. Southerland1564001995252