Jay Sekulow

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Jay Sekulow
Born Jay Alan Sekulow
(1956-06-10) June 10, 1956 (age 65)
Brooklyn, New York
Education B.A. Mercer University (law)
J.D. Mercer University (law)
Ph.D. Regent University (legal history)
Occupation Civil Attorney (ACLJ)
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Pamela McPherson (1978–present)
Children Logan and Jordan Sekulow

Jay Alan Sekulow (born June 10, 1956) is an American attorney and Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ). He also hosts a talk show, which airs on radio and television. Sekulow is a frequent guest commentator on the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Fox News Channel.


As a young lawyer, Sekulow worked in the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service as a tax trial attorney, bringing suits in the United States Tax Court on behalf of the United States Department of Treasury.[1]

In 1992, Sekulow became the director of ACLJ where he serves as Chief Counsel.


In addition to his duties as Chief Counsel for the ACLJ, Sekulow hosts Jay Sekulow Live!, a syndicated daily radio program broadcast on terrestrial radio, as well as XM and Sirius satellite radios. This live call-in program focuses on legal and legislative topics.[2]

Sekulow is the host of ACLJ This Week, a weekly television news program broadcast on Trinity Broadcasting Network[3] and Daystar.


Sekulow is thought by some in Washington to have been one of the "Four Horsemen" who "engineered" the nomination of Chief Justice John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court.[4] In 2007, Sekulow endorsed Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.[4][5] He has opposed the building of Park51, an Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center.[6][7][8]

Cases before the Supreme Court

Sekulow has argued in front of the United States Supreme Court more than ten times during his career. He has specialized in arguing key issues of the First Amendment.[9] Sekulow most recently argued before the Supreme Court on November 12, 2008 in Pleasant Grove City v Summum, case No.07-665. Sekulow represented the city in this case concerning government control over monuments and memorials in government-owned public places, which ended the following February with the Court ruling in the city's favor. On March 2, 2009, the Supreme Court issued a summary disposition in the companion case of Summum v Duchesne City. The Court vacated the Tenth Circuit opinion and remanding the case for an opinion consistent with Pleasant Grove City v Summum.[clarification needed]

In addition to his work as a Supreme Court advocate, Sekulow, as lead counsel of the ACLJ, has submitted several amicus briefs in support of conservative issues. He has submitted amicus briefs in landmark cases such as Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush, Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, and Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation. His amicus briefs for Van Orden v. Perry and Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC were cited by Justices John Paul Stevens and John Roberts respectively.[10][11] Sekulow served as counsel to Robert and Mary Schindler during the controversy surrounding their daughter, Terri Schiavo. While he is widely acknowledged as a member of the Christian Right, Sekulow’s amicus brief in Morse v. Frederick was in support of the ACLU’s position; he argued that schools banning “offensive” speech would also be able to prohibit religious speech with which the administrators disagree.

List of cases

Case: Date: Argument: Result:
Board of Airport Commissioners v. Jews for Jesus[12] 1987 Arguing on behalf of Jews for Jesus, Sekulow argued that LAX’s policy banning all “First Amendment activities” violated the organization’s right to free speech. Judgment for Jews for Jesus.
Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens[13] 1990 Sekulow argued on behalf of students who were denied their request to form a Bible and Prayer club at their school. Judgment for the Students.
U.S. v. Kokinda.[9] 1990 Sekulow argued on behalf of two volunteers of the National Democratic Policy Committee who were arrested after refusing to leave the sidewalk near a post office. Judgment for the United States
Lee v. ISKCON[14] 1992 Sekulow served as co-counsel, arguing on behalf of ISKCON against a regulation that prohibited distribution of literature in airport terminals. Judgment for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic 1993 Sekulow argued on behalf of anti-abortion activists who were originally found as violating a statute by conducting demonstrations at abortion clinics. Judgment for the Activists.
Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District[15] 1993 In another case involving use of school property, Sekulow represented Lamb’s Chapel, and their right to show religious-oriented films in a school after-hours. Judgment for the Church.
Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York 1997 Sekulow argued on behalf of Schenck, challenging a District court ruling that provided for speech-free floating “bubble zones” surrounding abortion clinics. Judgment for Schenck.
Hill v. Colorado 2000 This case revolved around protesters’ rights to distribute literature in front of abortion clinics and a statute that barred them from approaching a non-consenting person. Sekulow, representing the protesters, argued that Colorado's “eight foot rule” was unconstitutional. Judgment for Colorado.
Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe 2000 Sekulow, representing the school district, argued that prayer, initiated and led by students at football games, did not violate the Establishment Clause. Judgment for Doe.
McConnell v. FEC 2003 In a highly publicized case, Sekulow, on behalf of a group of students including Emily Echols, argued that a portion of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 violated the First Amendment and was thus unconstitutional. Judgment for Echols, et al.
Locke v. Davey 2003 Sekulow, representing student Joshua Davey, argued that a statute excluding theology students from publicly funded scholarships was unconstitutional. Judgment for Locke.
Pleasant Grove City v. Summum[16] 2008 Sekulow, representing the city of Pleasant Grove, challenged a Tenth Circuit opinion allowing Summum to erect a monument alongside a Ten Commandments monument donated to the city by the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Judgment for Pleasant Grove City.

Awards and Accomplishments

Jay Sekulow lecturing in 2006

Sekulow has been honored numerous times throughout his career. In 1994, he was named to the National Law Journal’s Power List.[17] In 1997, he was named to the American Lawyer’s Public Sector 45, a list dedicated to legal public servants who have had the greatest effect in their respective fields.[18] Following this accolade, the National Law Journal placed Sekulow in its "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" list.[19] Most recently, Legal Times profiled him as one of the "90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 years".[20]


In November 2005, Legal Times published an article which alleged that Sekulow "through the ACLJ and a string of interconnected nonprofit and for-profit entities, has built a financial empire that generates millions of dollars a year and supports a lavish lifestyle—complete with multiple homes, chauffeur-driven cars, and a private jet that he once used to ferry Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia." In the article, former donors and supporters claimed that Sekulow engaged in a pattern of self-dealing to finance his "high-flying lifestyle." And, according to a ranking by the American Institute of Philanthropy, a charity watchdog group, Sekulow was the 13th highest paid executive of a charitable organization in the United States.[21]

Personal life

Jay Sekulow was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Natalie (née Wortman) and Stanley Sekulow.[22][23] Sekulow and his wife, Pamela (McPherson), have been married since 1978, and have two adult sons, Jordan and Logan.[24][25] Jordan Sekulow is an attorney with the ACLJ and Director of International Operations. He also co-hosts the radio and television programming with his father. Logan briefly starred in the Nickelodeon series U-Pick Live in 2005.[26] Sekulow was raised Jewish. He converted to Christianity in college and is now a Messianic Jew.[27] His youngest brother Scott is the founder and Rabbi of the Messianic Jewish Congregation Beth Adonai in Atlanta, Georgia.[28] Sekulow also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Supreme Court Historical Society in Washington, DC.


  • 1990: From Intimidation to Victory, Creation House
  • 1993: Knowing Your Rights: Taking Back Our Religious Liberties
  • 1996: And Nothing But the Truth
  • 1997: Christian Rights in the Workplace, The American Center for Law and Justice
  • 2000: The Christian, The Court, and The Constitution, The American Center for Law and Justice
  • 2005: Witnessing Their Faith: Religious Influence on Supreme Court Justices and Their Opinions, Rowman & Littlefield
  • 2014: "Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore" (with Jordan Sekulow, Robert W. Ash, and David French), Howard Books
  • 2015: Undemocratic: How Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats Are Stealing Your Liberty and Freedom, Howard Books


  1. "ACLJ.org". Retrieved 2008-05-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Prison Fellowship Founder Chuck Colson Special Guest on National Radio Show "Jay Sekulow Live!"". WDC Media News. August 22, 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Our Programs: ACLJ This Week". Retrieved 2008-05-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bazelon, Emily (2007-11-26) On the Advice of Counsel, Slate.com
  5. Zoll, Rachael (May 4, 2007). "Romney travels to Pat Robertson's school". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-12-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Petition filed to nix NY Islamic center". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/08/04/4814389-aclj-finds-onoff-switch-for-1st-amendment
  8. "Jay Sekulow: Landmark Church to be Rebuilt at Ground Zero". Faith & Justice.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "United States v. Kokinda, 497 U.S. 720 (1990)". Oyez.org. Retrieved 2008-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005).
  11. Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC, 546 U.S. 410 (2006).
  12. "Board of Airport Commissioners v. Jews for Jesus, 482 U.S. 569 (1987)". Retrieved 2008-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Board of Education of Westside Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990)". Retrieved 2008-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Lee v. Int. Society for Krishna Consciousness, 505 U.S. 831 (1992)". Oyez.org. Retrieved 2008-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School District, 508 U.S. 284 (1993)". Oyez.org. Retrieved 2008-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Koons, Jennifer (April 8, 2008). "On the Docket: Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum". Northwestern University. Retrieved 2008-05-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "1994 Power List". National Law Journal. 16 (31). April 4, 1994.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "The Public Sector 45". The American Lawyer. Jan–February 1997. p. 81. Check date values in: |date= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America". National Law Journal. 19 (35). April 28, 1997.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years". Legal Times. 31 (20). May 19, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Mauro, Tony (November 1, 2005). "The Secrets of Jay Sekulow". Legal Times. Archived from the original on March 1, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Susan-M-Klau-NJ - User Trees - Genealogy.com".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Crowd Control In Judge Battle, Mr. Sekulow Plays A Delicate Role". The Wall Street Journal. May 17, 2005. pp. A1. Archived from the original on May 17, 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Pinsky, Mark I. (September 2, 1993). "Legal Weapon : Jay Alan Sekulow is the Christian Right's leading lion in the judicial arena. Those he opposes say he's a zealot, an opportunist--and a formidable foe". Los Angeles Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Anna Handzlik, Jordan Sekulow - Weddings". The New York Times. October 23, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Jay Sekulow Fighting for Your Freedoms". DFW Christian Family. Retrieved 23 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Beth Adonai Leadership

External links