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In It to Win It

(8,510 posts)
Sat May 25, 2024, 03:52 PM May 25

GOP Officials Are Outsourcing Their Lawsuits to a Far-Right Christian Group [View all]

GOP Officials Are Outsourcing Their Lawsuits to a Far-Right Christian Group

Two separate, controversial Idaho laws have landed in front of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court this year: the state’s total ban on abortion, and its ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. As he prepared to defend both, Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador (R) sought help from lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a controversial, far-right Christian group.

It’s not unusual for attorneys general to bring on outside counsel when they’re going to the Supreme Court. Historically, however, experts say, it has not been common for attorneys general to outsource their litigation efforts to private, agenda-driven interest groups. But in recent years, ADF has become the go-to firm for Republican officials defending anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ legislation.

ADF is a nonprofit litigation shop founded in the early 90s by dozens of the highest profile conservative Christian figures of the time, including Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, Campus Crusade for Christ’s Bill Bright, and anti-porn crusader Alan Sears, co-author of the anti-LGBT book “The Homosexual Agenda.” Its mission: “to change the law and culture of the nation,” essentially, by helping do away with the separation of church and state.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has, for years, designated ADF as anti-LGBTQ hate group. ADF rejects this designation. Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel, says the SPLC is “a thoroughly discredited, blatantly partisan activist outfit.”

Since 2011, ADF has claimed 15 victories before the court, including arguments in favor of a cake shop that refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple, a graphic designer who didn’t want to design wedding websites for gay couples (hypothetically), and a cabinet manufacturer who objected to the idea their employee health plan had to cover birth control.
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