Alan Sears

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Alan Sears
Alma mater University of Louisville
University of Louisville School of Law
Occupation Lawyer

Alan E. Sears is an American lawyer. He served as the president, CEO, and general counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom until January 2017.[1] Sears was the staff executive director of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, popularly known as the "Meese Commission".


Sears graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville.[2] He earned a law degree from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.[2]



Sears served as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office for western Kentucky. During his time as a federal prosecutor Sears served as staff executive director of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography also known as the Meese Commission. This commission was established by Attorney General William French Smith at the direction of President Reagan in early 1985. The commission became popularly known as the Meese Commission after Edwin Meese III, Smith's successor, announced the names of its eleven members in May 1985. Although he was not a voting member, Sears was influential on the commission and vigorously supported strengthening anti-obscenity laws.[2][3][4]

Sears served as associate solicitor under Secretary Donald Hodel at the Department of the Interior.

Alliance Defending Freedom[edit]

Alan Sears served as president, CEO, and general counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations with the stated goal of "defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation."[5] He led the strategy, training, funding, and litigation efforts of ADF that resulted in various roles in 38 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court and wins in more than three out of four cases litigated to conclusion. Under his leadership, ADF funded more than 2,200 grants and legal projects for allied lawyers and organizations, and ADF attorneys successfully fought gay marriage[clarification needed] in more than 40 cases nationwide.[2]

Since ADF's founding in 1994, Sears oversaw the training of more than 1,500 lawyers through the ADF Legal Academy, which is designed to equip attorneys to effectively defend "religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and the family". These attorneys reported nearly $136 million in pro-bono legal services. Sears efforts also resulted in the graduation of more than 1,000 law students, representing more than 140 law schools, from the ADF Blackstone Legal Fellowship program. This in-depth summer internship program helps equip these students to assume leadership positions to shape the future of American law.[2]

Speaking of the ADF's founding, Sears said, "In the early '90s, a number of people of different faith backgrounds began to talk to each other about grave concerns with the loss of religious liberty in the court system. And they basically discovered that the community of faith — the body of Christ, the Christians, however you want to describe it — was AWOL. And, so, they said, 'Well, what we ought to do is form a response.' The idea was: Let's get as many people as we can across faith lines to stand together and defend the things we can agree on. In their conversations that came to be three things: our religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the preservation of marriage and the traditional family. Those were the three things everybody could agree on, and they asked me if I'd be the first leader of the organization."[2]

Private practice[edit]

After his work in government, Sears worked for 10 years in Arizona's largest law firm. By the time ADF's founders came looking for him, he had experience in all areas of law, including private practice, public policy and media work.[2]


The ACLU vs. America[edit]

Sears wrote the book The ACLU vs. America with Craig Osten. During an interview for Front Page Magazine, Sears said, "...Bill O'Reilly asked me: 'Mr. Sears, isn't the ACLU an organization that had noble beginnings, but just went off track over the past ten years or so?' Of course, there was not enough time to answer that question in a 'sound bite,' so I decided right then and there that we would have to write a book to provide an adequate response – that the ACLU had a VERY different vision right from the start for America than our nation's founders. Craig Osten and I saw how the organization looked 'one way from a distance but yet another way up close' so we decided to tell the real story about the ACLU, its founder Roger Baldwin, its ultra-radical roots, its promotion of socialism, and its extreme positions that few Americans know about."[6]

The Homosexual Agenda[edit]

Sears co-wrote the book The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Liberty Today with Craig Osten. In this book Sears and Osten analyze success of the gay rights movement. Sears and Osten say the moral decline of the United States is the result of activists who have "taken us toward their goal of unbridled sexual behavior and silencing of the church."

The book was described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "an anti-LGBT call to arms that links homosexuality to pedophilia and other 'disordered sexual behavior.'"[7]


  • Sears, Alan; Craig Osten (2003). The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today. B&H Books. ISBN 978-0-8054-2698-4. 
  • Sears, Alan; Craig Osten (2005). The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values. B&H Books. ISBN 978-0-8054-4045-4. 


  1. ^ "ADF Names New CEO - Alliance Defending Freedom". Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ferrisi, Sabrina Arena (1 November 2014). "Fighting the good fight". Legatus. United States. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Vaughn, Stephen (2006). Freedom and Entertainment: Rating the Movies in an Age of New Media. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 126. ISBN 0521676541. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  4. ^ McFeely, Tom. "Alliance Defense Fund's Chief Convert". National Catholic Register. United States. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Defending our First Liberty (PDF), Alliance Defense Fund, p. 3, archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-01-03 
  6. ^ Glazov, Jamie (26 September 2005). "The ACLU vs. America". Front Page Magazine. United States. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "'Religious Liberty' and the Anti-LGBT Right". Southern Poverty Law Council. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 

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