A History of Success

Alliance Defending Freedom is launched
On January 31, Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as Alliance Defense Fund) is introduced to the nation at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Washington, D.C.

1994
1994
Victory for Free Speech – Madsen v. Women's Health Center, Inc.
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds residential picketing and creates a useful test for abortion clinic picketing.
Victory for Equal Access – Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
The U.S. Supreme Court stops discrimination and orders equal access for a Christian university student newspaper denied funding that was provided to other groups.

Victory for Freedom of Association – Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously establishes a national precedent in upholding the right of private organizations to freely associate or not associate with other groups.

Victory for Family – American Library Association v. Reno
The U.S. Supreme Court denies review of this case, letting stand the labeling and record-keeping provisions of the Child Protection Act.

1995
1996

$1 Million in Grant Money Awarded
In only its third year of existence, Alliance Defending Freedom is blessed to award more than $1 million in grants to help protect religious freedom across the country.

Victory for Religious Freedom – United States v. Virginia Military Institute
The U.S. Supreme Court rejects the Clinton Justice Department's request to increase the test for "gender discrimination" to "strict scrutiny" – the highest level of review for discrimination, as used in race cases.

Victory for Family – Alliance for Community Media v. FCC
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the portion of the cable law that permits cable companies to refuse to televise pornographic shows.

1996
1997

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy Launched
The first Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy sessions (formerly known as National Litigation Academy) are held – laying the foundation for a program that would grow to train more than 1,600 attorneys in the U.S. and abroad.

Victory for Life – Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules the U.S. Constitution does not provide a “right” to assisted suicide.

Victory for Free Speech – Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network
Relying on precedent in the first Alliance Defending Freedom-backed victory at the Supreme Court, Madsen v. Women's Health Center, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the 15-foot "floating bubble zone," wherein religious speech is prohibited by the state.

Victory for Life – Mazurek v. Armstrong
The U.S. Supreme Court determines Montana's "physician only" statute is constitutional, blocking the flood of abortions that would have followed had the court decided to strike down the law.

Victory for Parental Rights – Lambert v. Wicklund
The U.S. Supreme Court vacates the lower court decision, thereby upholding Montana's parental notification law that has proven to effectively reduce abortions.

Victory for Students – Agostini v. Felton
The U.S. Supreme Court rules it is constitutional for public school programs to provide remedial education to disadvantaged private school students who attend faith-based schools.

1997
1998
Victory for Religious Freedom – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) v. Finley
The U.S. Supreme Court rules 8–1 that the tax-funded NEA can refuse to give taxpayer dollars to pornographic and anti-Christian art.

$3 Million in Grant Money Awarded
Just three years after awarding $1 million in grants, Alliance Defending Freedom triples its support of key cases threatening religious freedom.

 

1999
2000

Ten Millionth Grant Dollar Awarded
Alliance Defending Freedom awards a total of $10 million in grants since the founding of the ministry.

Blackstone Legal Fellowship Launched
The first Blackstone Legal Fellowship is held – laying the foundation for a leadership development program that would grow to train more than 1,000 of the best and brightest Christian law students in constitutional law.

2000
2000

Victory for Parental Rights – Troxel v. Granville
The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the rights of parents over the rights of the government in child rearing.

Victory for Schools – Mitchell v. Helms
The U.S. Supreme Court holds that government funding of educational materials and equipment for religious schools can be constitutional.

Victory for Family – Dale v. Boy Scouts of America
Following the precedent established in the 1995 Alliance Defending Freedom-backed case of Hurley v. Irish–American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, the U.S. Supreme Court decides the Boy Scouts are a private organization and can exclude advocates of homosexual behavior from its leadership.

Victory for Religious Freedom – City of Erie v. Pap's A.M. dba "Kandyland”
Six U.S. Supreme Court justices reverse a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision striking down the City of Erie's ordinance barring public nudity, based on an erroneous view of the First Amendment.

Victory for Students – Good News Club v. Milford Central Schools
The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Alliance Defending Freedom-backed allied attorneys and decides middle schools do not violate the U.S. Constitution when they allow Bible clubs to meet after hours.

Victory for Free Speech – Adler v. Duval County School Board
The U.S. Supreme Court declines to review an appeal by the Duval County School Board of an Alliance Defending Freedom-backed victory upholding the right of students to speak about their faith and to pray at graduation ceremonies.

Victory for Family – City News & Novelty v. Waukesha, WI
The U.S. Supreme Court dismisses pornographers’ petition for review in a case challenging Waukesha’s licensing ordinance, which the city used to deny renewal of pornographers’ licenses.

2001
2002

Victory for Parental Rights in Education – Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Ohio school voucher program, allowing parents to remove their children from underperforming public schools and use government vouchers for private or religious schools.

Victory for Religious Freedom – City of Los Angeles v. Alameda Books
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the right of communities to regulate pornographic businesses.

One Thousandth Grant Awarded
In less than 10 years since its founding, Alliance Defending Freedom is blessed to award its 1,000th grant to help fund cases that defend religious freedom in America.

2003
2003

Victory for Family – United States v. American Library Association
The U.S. Supreme Court rules Congress’s mandate that publicly funded libraries provide internet filtering devices in order to protect children is constitutional.

Victory for Free Speech – Scheidler v. National Organization for Women (NOW)
The U.S. Supreme Court rules peaceful pro-life activists are not in violation of the federal laws intended to stop organized crime.

Victory for Marriage – Lewis v. Alfaro
The California Supreme Court unanimously rules San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom acted illegally when he directed the city and county clerk to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Victory for Family – City of Littleton (CO) v. Z.J. Gifts
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules communities can defend themselves against the spread of sexually oriented businesses and the resulting social consequences.

2004
2005

Twenty-five Millionth Grant Dollar Awarded
Alliance Defending Freedom awards a total of $25 million in grants since the founding of the ministry.

Victory for Religious Freedom – Van Orden v. Perry
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Ten Commandments display on the grounds of the Texas Capitol complex, ruling the Texas display did not violate the Establishment Clause.
2005
2006
Multiple Supreme Court Victories
In a span of less than six weeks, Alliance Defending Freedom plays various roles in five U.S. Supreme Court victories.

Victory for Free Speech – National Organization for Women (NOW) v. Scheidler
The U.S. Supreme Court once again issues a favorable decision, unanimously ruling peaceful pro-life activists are not in violation of the federal laws intended to stop organized crime. (This case was originally decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.)

Victory for Equal Access – Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules the Solomon Act is constitutional, and Congress may require law schools – even those with a non-discrimination clause that is counter to the military's view on open homosexual behavior – to provide equal access to military recruiters without violating the schools’ freedoms of speech and association.

Victory for Religious Freedom – Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decides, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that when the practice of a sincerely held religious belief conflicts with federal regulations, the federal government must show the regulation is the least restrictive means to advance a compelling government interest before the religious practice can be limited. The decision provides a legal framework that could pave the way for returning to the Constitution’s original intent with regard to religious liberties cases.

Victory for Parental Rights – Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously vacates a lower court ruling striking down New Hampshire’s “Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act” and returns the case to lower courts for reconsideration.

Victory for Religious Freedom – Sanchex-Llamas v. Oregon, and Bustillo v. Johnson
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the sovereignty of U.S. law over the decisions of foreign courts when ruling a treaty does not give foreign defendants special status in U.S. Courts. This is an important victory in the legal battle to curb the use of international law to supersede the U.S. Constitution.

2006
2007

Blackstone Legal Fellowship
Alliance Defending Freedom trains 100 Blackstone Fellows in a single session – bringing the total number of Christian law students trained to 605.

Victory for Religious Freedom – Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation
The U.S. Supreme Court rules an atheist organization lacks taxpayer standing to challenge the funding of a White House conference informing both faith-based and secular organizations about federal funding for programs that help the poor.

Victory for Life – Gonzales v. Carhart
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the federal ban on partial-birth abortions, ruling the 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Act does not violate the Constitution.

2007
2008

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy-trained attorneys provide more than $14 million in pro bono/dedicated legal service for the year.

Pulpit Initiative Launched
Alliance Defending Freedom launches a strategic project in an effort to restore the constitutional right of pastors to speak freely in sermons on biblical principles.
2008
2008
Victories for Marriage and Family
Alliance Defending Freedom wins five cases protecting marriage and family within the month of May. Three of these victories uphold constitutional marriage amendments in the states of Michigan, Oregon, and Wisconsin; one affirms parental rights in Maryland; and one protects citizens in Michigan from exposure to sexually oriented businesses.

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Academy-trained attorneys surpass $100 million in reported pro bono/dedicated legal service to the Body of Christ since the program launched in 1997.

2009
2009

University Project Launched
Alliance Defending Freedom launches a strategic project to restore religious freedom to public college and university campuses across America.

Victory for Family – FCC v. Fox News
The U.S. Supreme Court finds that the FCC's regulation of vulgarity during public broadcasts was intended to protect children from indecent language, and the FCC has the right to impose a fine on broadcasters when a live broadcast includes a "fleeting expletive" during prime time.

Victory for Religious Freedom – Pleasant Grove City v. Summum
The U.S. Supreme Court rules a Ten Commandments monument is government speech and that the City of Pleasant Grove cannot be forced to accept a donated monument from a new age religious group that sued the city for unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

 

2009
2010

Church Project Launched
Alliance Defending Freedom launches a strategic project to defend the rights of churches and pastors so they can freely speak, act, and minister in accordance with biblical principles without fear of government censorship, punishment, unlawful regulation, or loss of tax exemption.

United Nations Special Consultative Status Granted
Alliance Defending Freedom is granted special consultative status at the United Nations, which provides access to participate in international law-making activities that impact religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family in all 47 European countries within its jurisdiction. Alliance Defending Freedom also receives full accreditation at the European Parliament, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

2010
2010

Victory for Religious Freedom – Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
The U.S. Supreme Court rules election law cannot be manipulated to silence speech on religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

Victory for School Choice – Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn
The U.S. Supreme Court rules the ACLU’s clients – so-called “offended” taxpayers – had no legal “standing” to challenge a state tuition tax credit program allowing parents to make the best educational choice for their children – including Christian schools – through private school tuition organizations.

2011
2012

First International Office Opened
On March 28, Alliance Defending Freedom holds the grand opening of its first international office in Vienna, Austria.