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

Realtor Board Backs Down From Attack on Cross in Realtor's Ads

By Abigail A. Southerland1636488621588

Some weeks ago, the ACLJ was contacted by a long-time realtor who had been warned by his local realtor association board that the use of a cross in his realtor advertisements might create an issue under federal law and violate nondiscrimination policies. He was being pressured to remove the cross.

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ACLJ Defends Belk Employee Fired for Requesting To Attend Church

By Abigail A. Southerland1634561940000

Defending religious liberty has been at the forefront of the mission of the ACLJ for over 30 years. And that mission is needed NOW MORE THAN EVER. The radical Left is waging an all-out assault on religious liberty, targeting churches to harass, discriminate against, and even shut down. We’ve told...

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ACLJ Defends Religious Liberty in Big Win For Sharing Bible Tracts

By Abigail A. Southerland1631040182879

Last week, the ACLJ obtained another victory for religious freedom. Here are the facts. In the late summer of this year, church members of a small community were peacefully distributing religious literature on public property at a public event when one of them was confronted by a city employee. The...

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ACLJ Defeats Locality's Attempt To Shut Down Home Prayer Gathering

By Abigail A. Southerland1629733523125

Each year the ACLJ receives numerous legal requests for help relating to discrimination against churches, religious organizations, and individuals by local authorities through the zoning process. And each year we send out demand letters and informational memos, and sometimes file lawsuits to defend...

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More By
Abigail A. Southerland

ACLJ Appeals Ruling Finding Support for Prayer Vigil Unconstitutional

By Abigail A. Southerland1625749140000

California Finally Capitulates and Lifts Worship Ban on Churches

By Abigail A. Southerland1619725946069

ACLJ Secures Victory for Messianic Congregation

By Abigail A. Southerland1609273741126

Political Discrimination by Employers Is on the Rise

By Abigail A. Southerland1594650058923

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American Center for Law and Justice is a d/b/a for Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc., a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, religious corporation as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, specifically dedicated to the ideal that religious freedom and freedom of speech are inalienable, God-given rights. The Center's purpose is to engage legal, legislative and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education and litigation to ensure that those rights are protected under the law. The organization has participated in numerous cases before the Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeals, Federal District Courts, and various state courts regarding freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Your gift is very much appreciated and fully deductible as a charitable contribution. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained by writing to us at P.O. Box 90555, Washington, DC 20090-0555.