The U.S. Constitution is Southeastern Legal Foundation’s guiding principle. Since 1976, Southeastern Legal Foundation has been fighting to protect the political miracle that is America, the creation of a government of laws and not men. When the government has gone beyond its constitutional limits, we have been there to hold it accountable. SLF’s strategic approach has resulted in hundreds of courtroom wins, including four precedent-setting wins at the United States Supreme Court.
Southeastern Legal Foundation is Founded
In 1976, Edwin Meese III and a group of conservative businessmen founded Southeastern Legal Foundation and named former U.S. Representative Ben Blackburn as SLF’s first president. SLF attorneys set off to preserve the political miracle that occurred in 1787 in Philadelphia – the creation of a government of laws and not of men.
SLF’s Early Days
SLF quickly finds itself enmeshed in an array of critical constitutional issues including challenges to the Endangered Species Act in the famous “snail darter case,” battles to secure just compensation for private property owners, objections to affirmative action requirements in government contracting, and the successful end to a federally mandated school busing program.
SLF Successfully Challenges State-Sanctioned Race Discrimination
SLF files dozens of successful lawsuits challenging unconstitutional school racial quotas, state-sanctioned race discrimination in government contracting, school busing, and school redistricting.
SLF secures a critical U.S. Supreme Court victory which ensures plaintiffs’ rights to challenge preferences based on race, ethnicity, and sex in government contracting programs. In Associated General Contractors of NE Florida v. Jacksonville, Justice Thomas explains that the denial of equal treatment is itself an injury in an equal protection claim.
SLF Wins Major SCOTUS Case Preserving Census Integrity
SLF wins a major U.S. Supreme Court case when the high court rejects the government’s plan to radically depart from the requirement to count every person and instead use statistical sampling to measure America’s population in the 2000 census. With its win, SLF preserves the Framers’ intention that political power be apportioned to the people based on the actual enumeration of the population, and it protects the integrity of the census process from manipulation.
SLF Protects Private Property Rights
As local and state governments continue to ignore their constitutional obligation to pay private property owners just compensation when they “take” their property, SLF engages in legal challenges throughout the country to protect the right to enjoy and use one’s property. Whether it is stopping cities from declaring beach property public, successfully challenging illegal impact fees, protecting the right to harvest timber on private property, or halting unconstitutional conditions placed on permitting and property use, SLF has been at the forefront of protecting American private property rights for decades.
SLF Leads Successful Effort to Hold President Clinton Accountable
In a monumental win for the rule of law, SLF’s formal bar complaint against Bill Clinton for making false statements in a deposition results in Bill Clinton becoming the first sitting United States president to lose his bar license as a result of a formal bar complaint.
SLF Plays Integral Role In Successful Legislative Efforts
Outside the courtroom, SLF plays an integral role in successful legislative efforts including rolling back eminent domain private property seizures by the government, enacting comprehensive tort reform throughout the southeast, ensuring that voters will not be turned away from the polls for exercising their First Amendment rights, protecting free speech rights on college campuses, closing loopholes in state pension systems, and cutting unemployment insurance taxes by nearly $2 billion across the southeast.
SLF Secures Scores of Wins for Clients’ First Amendment Rights
SLF secures scores of wins for its clients’ First Amendment rights against the government’s efforts to silence FBI Agent Gary Aldrich, to prevent voters wearing NRA hats from voting, to remove public religious and holiday displays, to punish business owners posting “English Only” signs, and more. SLF also serves as counsel and plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court constitutional challenge against McCain-Feingold’s so-called campaign finance reform which lays the groundwork for Citizens United v. FEC.
SLF Wins Back-to-Back SCOTUS Cases Against EPA
In back-to-back U.S Supreme Court wins, SLF successfully challenges the EPA’s unconstitutional greenhouse gas emission rules and overt land grab definition of the “waters of the United States” which unconstitutionally expanded its jurisdictional reach to nearly every inch of the country.
As Justice Scalia declared: “We are not willing to stand on the dock and wave goodbye as EPA embarks on this multiyear voyage of discovery. We reaffirm the core administrative-law principle that an agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate.”
SLF Works to Stop Sanctuary Cities
In an effort to end and expose illegal and unconstitutional policies that protect illegal aliens at the expense of taxpayers, communities, and law enforcement, SLF launches a comprehensive project to Stop Sanctuary Cities. SLF’s efforts include filing dozens of open records requests across the country, educating the public, successfully leading the effort to stop sanctuary cities in Georgia, and supporting the so-called travel ban and the fight to end DACA and DAPA.
SLF Launches 1A Project
SLF launches the 1A Project to equip college students with the tools they need to share their message and to defend their right to do so in the courts of law and public opinion. The First Amendment shouldn’t be complicated. But because our nation’s colleges and universities insist on infringing on students’ rights, SLF helps students fight for their rights to speak, listen, and learn.
SLF Continues its Work to Rebuild the American Republic
After nearly 50 years of fighting to Rebuild the American Republic®, SLF now finds itself on multiple battlegrounds fighting to preserve our Constitution. The current administration and the woke will stop at nothing to tear down our Constitution. Today’s government seeks to cancel your voice, your property rights, your economic freedom, and your liberty and replace it with state-sanctioned discrimination, state-owned property, state-dependent livelihoods, and state-approved thoughts. But SLF knows that the political miracle that occurred in 1787 in Philadelphia – the creation of a government of laws and not men – must be protected at all costs. That is why we go to court every day.