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Written by David L. Hudson Jr., published on January 1, 2009 , last updated on May 5, 2024

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David A. Cortman is a gifted appellate advocate who has argued several First Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In this photo, Cortman, right, with Hobby Lobby attorney Paul Clement, center, speak to reporters in front of the Supreme Court in 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, courtesy of The Associated Press)

David A. Cortman (1963- ) is a gifted appellate advocate who has argued several First Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He serves as senior counsel and vice president of U.S. litigation with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

 

Cortman has played a prominent role in First Amendment advocacy

 

Born in 1963, Cortman earned his law degree magna cum laude from Regent University School of Law. 

 

In this role as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, Cortman had played a prominent role in First Amendment advocacy.

 

Cortman argued Reed v. Town of Gilbert (2015), successfully challenging an Arizona town ordinance that discriminated against signs on the basis of their content.

 

He also argued Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer (2017), successfully challenging a Missouri church’s participation in a generally applicable statewide playground-resurfacing program. 

 

Cortman also participated as co-counsel for town officials in Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014), in which a narrow majority of the Court upheld the town’s practice of starting town meetings with prayers. The Court majority found that this practice did not violate the establishment clause.

 

David L. Hudson, Jr. is a law professor at Belmont who publishes widely on First Amendment topics.  He is the author of a 12-lecture audio course on the First Amendment entitled Freedom of Speech: Understanding the First Amendment (Now You Know Media, 2018).  He also is the author of many First Amendment books, including The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech (Thomson Reuters, 2012) and Freedom of Speech: Documents Decoded (ABC-CLIO, 2017). This article was originally published in 2009.​

 

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