Subscribe to RSS - American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)
Annual Revenue: 
$16,719,378.00
Virginia Beach, VA

The American Center for Law and Justice was founded by TV preacher Pat Robertson in 1991 to press the Religious Right's legal agenda in court. It is currently headed by Jay Sekulow and works in tandem with Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, a similar organization founded by Sekulow.

Attorney Jay Sekulow, a Jewish convert to evangelical Christianity, came to national prominence in 1987, after successfully arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Jews For Jesus, which protested a policy at Los Angeles International Airport banning all forms of solicitation.

Three years later, Sekulow, under the auspices of Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE), a group he founded, argued another case at the Supreme Court. This time he represented Bridget Mergens, a public high school student in Washington state who wanted to form a Bible club.

Sekulow’s successful litigation of the cases impressed TV preacher Pat Robertson, who hired Sekulow to run the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an organization Robertson perceived as a fundamentalist Christian answer to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Robertson and Sekulow have used the ACLJ to chip away at the church-state wall, erode abortion rights, oppose gay rights and push other Religious Right social goals. Sekulow, 53, was also close to the Bush administration and helped vet Supreme Court nominees.

Sekulow has a considerable media presence. His daily radio show, “Jay Sekulow Live,” is heard on 850 stations, and his weekly television program “ACLJ This Week,” appears on several major Christian networks.

At first glance, the ACLJ’s funding appears to be slipping. In 2006, Church & State reported an annual budget of $14,485,514 for the group. The most recent Form 990 puts that figure at $11,667,456. That number is misleading, however. CASE still exists and operates in tandem with the ACLJ. CASE brought in $35.3million last year, making the Sekulow operation’s income considerably higher than it appears to be.   

In recent years, the group has been dogged by allegations that Sekulow collects an enormous salary and that CASE has purchased several homes for him. This does not appear to have slowed down the group’s fundraising.

Sekulow Quote: “They have taken prayer out of schools…the Ten Commandments out of the courts…now they are trying to stop us from even mentioning God in public. This is an outrage.” (ACLJ fundraising letter, June 2006)

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All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Fla. Legislators Push To Turn Public Schools Into Mission Fields

Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.

Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.

It’s Time For The Religious Right To Embrace The ‘Mind-Your-Own-Business’ Option

Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.

They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.

Should Religiously Affiliated Hospitals Be Allowed To Ignore A Federal Law That Protects Employee Pensions?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

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Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

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A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

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Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Neil Gorsuch Is The Wrong Choice For A Seat On The Supreme Court

You probably haven’t read much lately about Neil Gorsuch, the federal appeals court judge President Donald J. Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court – but that’s about to change.

Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee starts on Monday. The first day will be taken up by statements from committee members and Gorsuch himself. On Tuesday, Gorsuch will start answering questions.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Fla. Legislators Push To Turn Public Schools Into Mission Fields

Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.

Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.

It’s Time For The Religious Right To Embrace The ‘Mind-Your-Own-Business’ Option

Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.

They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.

Should Religiously Affiliated Hospitals Be Allowed To Ignore A Federal Law That Protects Employee Pensions?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Neil Gorsuch Is The Wrong Choice For A Seat On The Supreme Court

You probably haven’t read much lately about Neil Gorsuch, the federal appeals court judge President Donald J. Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court – but that’s about to change.

Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee starts on Monday. The first day will be taken up by statements from committee members and Gorsuch himself. On Tuesday, Gorsuch will start answering questions.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Fla. Legislators Push To Turn Public Schools Into Mission Fields

Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.

Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.

It’s Time For The Religious Right To Embrace The ‘Mind-Your-Own-Business’ Option

Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.

They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.

Should Religiously Affiliated Hospitals Be Allowed To Ignore A Federal Law That Protects Employee Pensions?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Neil Gorsuch Is The Wrong Choice For A Seat On The Supreme Court

You probably haven’t read much lately about Neil Gorsuch, the federal appeals court judge President Donald J. Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court – but that’s about to change.

Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee starts on Monday. The first day will be taken up by statements from committee members and Gorsuch himself. On Tuesday, Gorsuch will start answering questions.

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Church & State
March 2013 Church & State

Saints Or Sinners?

Religious Right Lawyers Preach Morality, But Their Conduct Sometimes Falls Short

March 2013 Church & State

God's Lawyers

With Millions In Assets And Hundreds Of Attorneys Helping Out, The Religious Right's Legal Machine Is Waging War On The Church-State Wall