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

VICTORY: ACLJ Helps Church Choir Perform at Festival

By Abigail A. Southerland1569959799007

The ACLJ recently assisted a church whose praise band was denied a spot to participate in a community-wide festival. The festival, which is put on every year to promote unity and to bring the community together, consists of numerous activities and events including performances by local bands and...

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Protecting Teachers from Forced Buddhist-Based Mindfulness

By Abigail A. Southerland1568928568700

For months, the ACLJ has worked to defend the rights of students in public schools across the country who are being subjected to classroom-led mindfulness and meditation sessions – a core religious practice of Buddhism and other eastern religions. The ACLJ has been successful in representing...

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ACLJ Files New Lawsuit to Defend Religious Organization

By Abigail A. Southerland1564001995252

Last week, ACLJ took on a new case to fight discrimination and bias against a non-profit religious ministry in Georgia. The lawsuit , filed in federal court last week, outlines the discriminatory zoning process the ministry has been subjected to over the past two years. The timeline of events are...

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A Tale of Two Cities: ACLJ Takes Action

By Abigail A. Southerland1562162400000

The ACLJ has recently been contacted by two more churches regarding potential violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). RLUIPA is a federal law designed to protect churches, religious assemblies, and institutions from land use regulations that interfere with...

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More By
Abigail A. Southerland

School Confiscates Young Child’s Bible – ACLJ Stepped In

By Abigail A. Southerland1553790596917

Neighborhood Club Has Revised Policy to Comply with the Law

By Abigail A. Southerland1550518584888

Victory: City Fixes Discriminatory Zoning Ordinance

By Abigail A. Southerland1550098757627

Buddhist Indoctrination Update: Exposing the Intent

By Abigail A. Southerland1550073750130