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The National Legal Foundation wins unusual Supreme Court victory on behalf of Pro-life client:

Read our Press Release about this victory here.  Read the Supreme Court’s opinion here.  You can also read the Petition and Reply that we filed in our Lefemine v. Wideman case.


After this incredible victory, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit, to examine whether a narrow exception to a general rule would keep us from receiving attorney's fees. (These fees are paid by the offending government entity--in this case, a law enforcement agency--and are an important tool in deterring the government's violation of Constitutional rights.) The Fourth Circuit simply sent the case back to the trial court, and asked it to decide that issue.


The trial court ruled against us. So, we again appealed to the Fourth Circuit, which ruled in our favor, and instructed the district court to allow us to file a motion for fees! (Read the court's opinion here.) The district court ultimately awarded us over $197,000 in fees and costs. This award sends a message clear to law enforcement officials that are severe consequences for interfering with the rights of pro-life demonstrators. The court's Opinion & Order are here.



Trinity Lutheran Church wanted to make the play ground of its Child Learning Center safer. So it applied for a grant from a Missouri state program that helps underwrite the cost of adding rubber surfaces. The church was told it had written one of the best grant applications. It was also told it would not get the grant. The only reason? Because it is a church! We filed this brief which helped explain why discriminating against churches by denying them benefits that all other pre-schools could receive violates the Free Exercise Clause. And the Supreme Court agreed!


The federal government regulates most pension and health benefit plans offered by private employers. Congress rightly exempted plans operated by churches from the regulations, since the government should not intrude into churches' business. And for thirty years, religious organizations associated with churches received the same treatment. Recently, class action lawsuits claimed that some of these plans should not be exempted. We filed a friend-of-the-court brief in three of these cases. The Supreme Court held unanimously that all the challenged plans of religious organizations will remain exempt from government interference.


The state of North Carolina wanted to issue a "Choose Life" license plate, but not a pro-abortion, "Respect Choice" license plate. So, of course, the ACLU sued North Carolina. After a trip to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States, North Carolina won the right to issue only a pro-life plate when the case returned to the Fourth Circuit. Read our Brief in the case here.







Welcome to the National Legal Foundation! 

The NLF is a Christian public interest law firm dedicated to the preservation of America's freedom and constitutional rights. Since our founding in 1985, we have defended religious liberty in the courtrooms and elsewhere.

In addition to litigating cases to protect religious freedom, our goal is to help people understand how the law on religious freedom affects them personally. To be effective in combatting the erosion of our religious freedom, Americans need to know what is at stake and what can be done to preserve this freedom. The NLF seeks to help prepare leaders and citizens to take a principled and well-informed stand in defense of religious freedom.


May 3, 2017— Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Chino Valley School BoardEven though the Supreme Court has correctly ruled that prayer is permissible at the meetings of deliberative bodies, such as state legislatures and town councils, a federal district court has refused to allow prayers at school board meetings. This brief explains to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals why school boards should be treated no differently than other deliberative bodies.

April 20, 2017— A Woman's Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic v. Becerra, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, and Livingwell Medical Clinic v. Becerra.The State of California has singled out pregnancy centers by requiring them to make disclosures about their services, while not requiring similar disclosures by abortion providers. The Supreme Court is deciding whether to accept any of the three cases challenging this discrimination. Read our brief, which explains why the Court should accept all three cases!

April 3, 2017—Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, et al.The City of Baltimore, like the state of California, has singled out pregnancy centers by requiring them to make disclosures about their services, while not requiring similar disclosures by abortion providers. This case is at the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. One again, our brief explains why this discrimination cannot stand!

The Supreme Court has declared that the states must allow same-sex marriage. We fought against this outcome to the very end. Here are just the most recent briefs we filed in our 25-year-long battle on this issue.

Obergefell v. Hodges (April 3, 2015)

Brenner v. Armstrong (November 21, 2014)

Kitchen v. Herbert (September 4, 2014)






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© 2012 by the National Legal Foundation & Minuteman Institute