Forged in the Crucible of Courtroom Conflict
A long, proud tradition of safeguarding the constitutional rights of those who have no other recourse.
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Driven by Values
Doing the right thing animates every case we champion and every victory we achieve.
NOW v. Scheidler:
The landmark case that started it all
The first charges were filed against Joseph Scheidler, founder of Pro-Life Action League, kicking off a 28-year-long legal battle to protect the pro-life movement.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) argued pro-life organizations like the Pro-Life Action League violated antitrust law—and sought to weaponize the federal RICO Act to come after Scheidler and other pro-life organizations. Thomas Brejcha, founder of the Thomas More Society, joined the case as Scheidler’s defense counsel.
In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a painful loss to Scheidler and others, unanimously holding that organizations like Pro-Life Action League could be charged under the RICO Act—opening the door to pro-life organizations being targeted as “racketeering enterprises.”
Due to the growing demands of the Scheidler case, Thomas Brejcha was given an ultimatum: either quit defending the “godfather of the pro-life movement,” or quit his law firm job in Chicago. Brejcha tendered his resignation to focus on pro-life legal advocacy full-time in 1997.
A landmark pro-life case
Scheidler returned to the U.S. Supreme Court after NOW filed a class action lawsuit alleging that organizations opposing legal abortion were engaging in acts of extortion according to the Hobbs Act. The Supreme Court held 8-1 in favor of Scheidler, granting the pro-life movement a monumental victory.
Vindicated again (8-0)
Scheidler was granted an unprecedented third appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court, after a district court judge refused to vacate the injunction against pro-life protestors, as requested by the nation’s highest court.
The Supreme Court held against NOW, unanimously ruling 8-0 in favor of Scheidler. Final litigation concluded in 2014—a long 28 years after Scheidler first went to court.
Thomas More Society was retained to defend the ND 88 protestors in 2009.
That year, the 88 courageous pro-life activists protested Notre Dame’s commencement speech, given by President Barack Obama—and were subsequently arrested and charged with trespassing while expressing their First Amendment rights.
Criminal trespass charges were dropped in 2011 as part of an agreement achieved by the Thomas More Society.
The Thomas More Society came to the aid of David Daleiden when he was targeted by the state of California for releasing undercover videos exposing the illegal harvesting and sale of aborted fetal body parts.
Today, David is still facing criminal charges and civil litigation, and we continue to defend David in ongoing legal action.
After a group of peaceful pro-life advocates from Brooklyn’s Church @ The Rock were targeted by the New York Attorney General for exercising their First Amendment rights, Thomas More Society stepped in to defend the free speech rights of pro-life sidewalk counselors.
A federal judge found New York’s claims baseless and restored the Church @ The Rock pro-life sidewalk counselors’ constitutional rights.
Since day one in NOW v. Scheidler, we have defended sidewalk counselors.
To this day, we continue to defend these heroic advocates, our last line of defense against abortion, across the country—protecting their right to continue this lifesaving work uninhibited.
v. Rev. Kenneth Griepp, et al
Housing v. Tastries Bakery
Cathy Miller, a devout Christian and owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California refused to design a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.
Since 2018, the state of California repeatedly attempted to force her to bake the cake.
Thomas More Society has successfully defended Cathy’s religious liberty rights against legal attacks from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Sr. Deirdre, POSC, M.D.—a missionary sister and Superior of the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart—was targeted by Washington, D.C.’s health department for seeking a religious exemption to their COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Sr. Deirdre, a military veteran and surgeon, was told to get vaccinated or lose her medical license.
Thomas More Society helped Sr. Deirdre challenge this blatant attempt to erode her First Amendment protections, and successfully won her a religious accommodation to the mandate.
Mayor of the District of Columbia
Mark Houck, a pro-life advocate and father of seven, was targeted by the Department of Justice for defending his son in front of an abortion facility. With guns drawn, the FBI raided his home and arrested him, right in front of his children.
The DOJ attempted to make an example out of him but the Thomas More Society successfully defended Mark against criminal charges—with a jury acquitting Mark on all counts in January 2023.
From local courts to the nation’s highest court, we’ve argued cases and secured victories coast to coast.
Discover the Story of a True Pro-Life Hero
This documentary, “Fighting for Life,” tells the dramatic story of Joe Scheidler, the “Godfather of Pro-Life Activism,” and the historic lawsuit that solidified his iconic status in the pro-life movement.
Sir Thomas More
Defender of Religious Liberty and Patron Saint of Lawyers
Sir Thomas More was born in London. As the son of a lawyer, he followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a skilled attorney himself. He was also a deeply pious Catholic and an accomplished philosopher.
Recognized for his talents, More served Henry VIII as Lord High Chancellor of England from 1529 to 1533. Despite his demanding career, More remained a devoted father, writing thoughtful letters to his children and overseeing their education.
More opposed Henry VIII’s separation from the Catholic Church. Proclaiming himself "the King’s good servant, but God’s first," More refused to take the Oath of Supremacy.
In response, the King imprisoned him, tried him for treason, and sentenced him to death. While hundreds of other noblemen sided with the King to save their own lives, More would not betray his conscience.
Canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935, Thomas More is now the patron saint of lawyers. He continues to inspire our mission to defend truth, justice, and the rights of conscience, just as he did centuries ago.
St. Thomas More’s
I pray, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, that I, with You, Saint Thomas More, may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience.
Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients’ tales.
Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul.
Pray for me, and with me, that my family may find in me what Your family found in You: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, but God’s first.
When statesmen forsake their own private consciences for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.
Excerpt from Robert Bolt's play, “A Man for All Seasons.”