The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) was founded in 1990 by Pat Robertson – a fiery Southern Baptist ex-minister who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988. It was intended to be a right-wing response to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He hired Jay Sekulow as chief counsel in 1992.
Sekulow is also chief counsel of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), which says that it’s a “Christian-inspired” NGO “dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights”. Its website accepts donations in US dollars only (saying “your gift is given to the ACLJ” whose grants provide “100% of support for the ECLJ”).
Based in a small town in Arizona, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is also closely linked to the Trump administration through the organisation’s former staffers and partners. Noel Francisco, US solicitor general until earlier this year, was one of the thousands of “allied attorneys” that ADF says it has around the world.
The two groups are connected to each other through senior staff members. ADF’s former chief counsel was also the ECLJ’s founding executive director, for example.
ADF’s few known funders include the family foundations of Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos. ADF’s president was among attendees at the recent White House event where Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee.