Jay Alan Sekulow (1956– ), chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, is one of the country’s leading Supreme Court litigators. He has argued numerous First Amendment cases before the high court, including Board of Airport Commissioners of the City of Los Angeles v. Jews for Jesus, Inc. (1987); United States v. Kokinda (1990); Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens (1990); Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District (1993); Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York (1997); Hill v. Colorado (2000); Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000); Locke v. Davey (2004); and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003).
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sekulow earned undergraduate and law degrees from Mercer University and a Ph.D. from Regent University. He converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1974, after taking a religious course as an undergraduate. He began his legal career in Atlanta, working on business ventures, which did not fare well. He rebounded as a Christian evangical attorney.
Sekulow became legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice
In 1990 Sekulow became legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice, an organization founded by Pat Robertson in part to combat what Robertson viewed as the liberalism of the American Civil Liberties Union. From that position, Sekulow rose to the top of the legal profession. He won important victories in the Supreme Court in Mergens, which provided for Christian clubs to meet on high school campuses that permitted noncurricular secular groups to meet, and Lamb’s Chapel, which provided that religious organizations should, like secular groups, be able to use public school facilities after hours. Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America, and the National Law Journal has listed him among the nation’s 100 most influential lawyers.
In addition to litigation, Sekulow has published numerous books, including Witnessing Their Faith: Religious Influence on Supreme Court Justices and Their Opinions (2006) and The Christian, The Court, and The Constitution (2000). He also hosts a popular radio show, Jay Sekulow Live.