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New Impact Report

Supreme Court

Alliance Defending Freedom is committed to winning all our cases (and we’ve won nearly 80% of them). But no matter the outcome, support from friends like you sustains us and enables us to take up the next case God has for us, fully prepared for the fight.

Right now, few freedoms face graver threats than free speech.

The First Amendment protects the right for all people to speak freely. Free speech is essential to the advance of civil rights and a vibrant democracy.

But today, government officials, activist groups, and even some of the most powerful corporations in world history are aggressively attempting to control what you can say. University administrators and government officials are policing speech, and cancel culture threatens to ostracize anyone who boldly stands up to the “woke” mob.

Make no mistake, your generosity is helping to defend free speech for all Americans and to ensure that America remains a free and tolerant society for future generations.

We hope you will be encouraged by the difference you are making for free speech across our great nation.

The amount of work keeps rising. As you read through the rest of this free speech report, we hope you will consider redoubling your stand for freedom today.


Defending Free Speech by the Numbers


Win Rate on Campus


Victories on Campus—and Climbing

At the U.S. Supreme Court

Lorie Smith

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing graphic artist Lorie Smith in a landmark free-speech case before the Supreme Court this December.

Lorie runs her own design studio, 303 Creative and specializes in graphic and website design. Lorie left the corporate design world to start her own small business in 2012 so she could use her skills to promote causes close to her heart. She was excited to create websites that celebrate marriage between a man and a woman, but Colorado made clear she’s not welcome to do that.

The same Colorado law used to punish cake artist Jack Phillips censors what Lorie wants to say and requires her to create designs that violate her beliefs about marriage. She works with people from all walks of life, but, like most artists, can’t promote every message.

After realizing that Colorado was censoring her, Lorie challenged the law to protect her freedom—and free speech for all Americans.

Please pray for Lorie as her Supreme Court argument nears this December!


Will you consider fueling Lorie’s case by becoming an ADF Monthly Partner today? Thanks to a special $100,000 matching grant provided by a generous Christian family, your first monthly gift will be matched—dollar for dollar.

Two Critical Victories for Free Speech

Teacher in Class

Ricard v. USD 475 Geary County Schools

In Kansas, Fort Riley Middle School officials violated math teacher Pamela Ricard’s First Amendment rights. They reprimanded and suspended her for addressing a student by the child’s legal name instead of the student’s “preferred name” and forced her to hide the student’s social transition (to be treated as the opposite sex) from the student’s parents.

In a victory for free speech, school officials agreed to pay $95,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.

“No school district should ever force teachers to willfully deceive parents or engage in any speech that violates their deeply held religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom.

Alliance Defending Freedom and an allied law group represented Pamela in her lawsuit against school officials.

Chelsey Nelson

Chelsey Nelson Photography v. Louisville-Jefferson County Metro

Much like the case of Lorie Smith, Chelsey Nelson is a photographer and blogger in Louisville, Kentucky who creates photographs and blogs celebrating the unions between one man and one woman, consistent with her religious views on marriage. But Louisville has a law that required her to also promote same-sex weddings through her photography and blogging. The law even forbade her from publicly explaining to clients and potential clients through her studio’s own website or social media sites the religious reasons why she only celebrates wedding ceremonies between one man and one woman.

In August, a federal court ruled that Chelsey is free to use her creative talents to speak messages that align with her religious beliefs about marriage.

“We’re pleased the court agreed that the city violated Chelsey’s First Amendment rights,” said ADF Legal Counsel Bryan Neihart, who represents Chelsey. “The court’s decision sends a clear and necessary message to every Kentuckian—and American—that each of us is free to speak and work according to our deeply held beliefs. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court issues a similar decision when it addresses the same issue in 303 Creative.”

Check out critical cases you’re helping fuel right now through your generosity:

Andrew Fox

Fox v. City of Austin

Dr. Andrew Fox created the chaplaincy program at the Austin Fire Department and served as the lead chaplain in a volunteer capacity for eight years, earning the trust and respect of the firefighters. But after Dr. Fox shared his religious views on his personal blog, city officials demanded he recant and apologize for the harm his blog post allegedly caused. He explained that his intent was to foster discussion, not cause offense, and apologized if anyone was offended. But his apology wasn’t good enough for city officials who demanded total compliance with their political ideology, and they forced Dr. Fox to turn in his uniform. Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit against the city on his behalf.

Maggie DeJong

DeJong v. Pembrook

While a graduate student in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Art Therapy program, Maggie DeJong, like many other students, shared her views on a variety of topics on social media, in class, and with other students. But because Maggie’s views often differed from those of other students in the program—views informed by her Christian faith and political stance—several of her fellow students reported her speech to university officials. The officials then issued no-contact orders against DeJong, prohibiting her from having “any contact” or even “indirect communication” with three fellow graduate students who complained that her expression of religious and political viewpoints constituted “harassment” and “discrimination.” Alliance Defending Freedom is suing the university for violating her free speech rights because of her viewpoints.

Loudoun County Teachers

Cross v. Loudoun County School Board

Loudoun County Public Schools officials suspended elementary teacher Tanner Cross for speaking out against a proposed school policy … during the public comment period of a school board meeting. The policy forces teachers to violate their beliefs by requiring them to address students with their chosen pronouns, not ones consistent with their biological sex. With your support, ADF filed a lawsuit against the school district. Tanner was eventually permanently restored to his role. And two more teachers have joined the lawsuit to challenge the radical policy (which has since been adopted).

Lydia Booth and Her Mother

L.B. v. Simpson County School District

Third-grader Lydia Booth was forced to remove her “Jesus Loves Me” mask by administrators at her school. Other students had been allowed to wear masks with sports team logos and political messages like “Black Lives Matter.” Lydia was singled out. Her mask was deemed “offensive.” Because of the generosity from people like you, ADF is able to represent Lydia and challenge the school’s action with a federal lawsuit. Public schools cannot discriminate against students like Lydia for their religious beliefs. Students don’t lose their constitutional rights when they step into school.

Allan Josephson

Josephson v. Bendapudi

University of Louisville officials demoted, harassed, and fired a distinguished professor—one who had successfully led its child psychiatry program for almost fifteen years—after he expressed his views on treatment approaches for youth experiencing gender dysphoria. Dr. Allan M. Josephson’s remarks in a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. angered a few of his colleagues, who then learned he had served as an expert witness addressing similar issues. They demanded that the university take disciplinary action, and university officials responded by demoting him weeks later to the role of a junior faculty member. The university later announced that it would not renew his contract, thus firing him—a highly unusual decision, especially for a professor of his seniority. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Dr. Josephson in a federal lawsuit.

Will you give the best gift you can right now to help defend clients like these in their fights for free speech?

62% of Americans are Afraid to Share Their Views1

As you know, free speech faces new and dangerous attacks from government officials. At the same time, more and more Americans are staying silent in the face of cancel culture. They are scared to share their beliefs.

With the foundations of free speech faltering, this is the time to redouble our efforts to protect and promote freedom of expression in law and culture.

We can—and we must—defend free speech and protect the legacy of freedom here in America for our children and grandchildren.


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